A £1 million campaign will be launched to encourage people who live in and around the Capital to spend a day out in the city centre.
Essential Edinburgh, fresh from winning another five-year mandate to run the city-centre Business Improvement District (BID), announced the marketing drive would start in the autumn.
The campaign will be funded from business levies collected by the organisation.
Essential Edinburgh chief executive Roddy Smith said the target was not tourists, but locals. “It is absolutely focused on Edinburgh and the surrounding areas, the Lothians, Fife and the Borders,” he said. This is saying ‘come into town, have a day’s experience’. It’s not just about shopping or eating and drinking or going to the theatre, the cinema or the museums. It’s about all these things.”
Marketing emerged as one of the top priorities for city-centre businesses during the ballot process for renewal of the BID.
Mr Smith said there were the three out-of-town shopping centres close to Edinburgh at the Gyle, Fort Kinnaird and Straiton. The new marketing campaign will aim to re-engage residents who do not come into the city centre very often and remind them of what is on offer.
Mr Smith said: “It is to entice them to come in more often.
“The £1m BID marketing campaign sits within a £2.35m package that will promote the area from 2018-2023 and we expect to see real positive developments with locals admiring and visiting the area more than ever before.
“Alongside the marketing campaign, the next five years will see us making advancements to help rough sleepers on the street, enhance our ongoing partnership with Police Scotland and improving our city centre through works with our Clean Team and Changeworks Recycling. Being able to call Edinburgh home is a privilege and one that many of our residents are proud to say out loud.
“Now it’s time to get out and make the most of what’s just a stone’s throw away for them.”
The campaign, which will run outside the busiest tourist periods, will include advertising on the sides of buses, at bus stops, on billboards on the outskirts of the city, on radio and on social media.
Essential Edinburgh conducted a competitive pitch against leading Edinburgh agencies, with creative and research agency, Guy & Co, PR and communications agency, WIRE, and media buying agency, Republic of Media, being appointed to work collaboratively to deliver the campaign.
David Guy, managing director of Guy & Co, said: “Over the next five years our campaign will reach out to residents and invite them to embrace the ever-changing beat of Edinburgh’s iconic city centre.”