EDINBURGH council leaders have pledged to protect their funding of the city’s money-spinning festivals, despite having to make £36 million budget cuts.
City culture leader Richard Lewis insisted the funding was “a price worth paying” to ensure Edinburgh’s reputation as a major cultural capital remained intact, in the face of competition from events like the Manchester International Festival.
Year-round venues such as the Traverse, the Royal Lyceum, the Queen’s Hall and Dance Base have also escaped any funding cuts. However, managers of the city’s major cultural venues, including the Usher Hall and the Assembly Rooms, have been told they must generate more money from events to help shore up the council’s coffers.
The city council puts £3.2m into the Capital’s summer festivals, with a separate £1.3m subsidy for the winter festivals. Other funding comes from Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government. The most recent impact study, published in 2011, found Edinburgh’s 12-month programme of festivals was worth at least £260m.