Marketing Edinburgh – the long goodbye - John McLellan

It’s been a long goodbye, but four years after Edinburgh Council’s myopic senior officers engineered the destruction of the agency Marketing Edinburgh is finally being put out of its misery.

Marketing Edinburgh helps draw tourists to the Capital
Marketing Edinburgh helps draw tourists to the Capital

A striking off notice was lodged with Companies House last month, but ever since it was decided a marketing agency was superfluous because nothing would stop the droves of tourists visiting the city, the saga has been a constant embarrassment for the authority.

The mass resignation of its board, including the Lord Provost, was bad enough, but then followed fines for being persistently late with accounts.

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When the issuing of a £50 fixed penalty notice led to opposition calls for the Prime Minister’s resignation, it’s remarkable there was not a peep from SNP or Labour politicians for the rolling of heads here, despite the company being charged £1500. Not once but twice.

At least Boris Johnson paid his own fine, but I’m not aware that anyone other than the taxpayer stumped up the £3000 cost of the council’s negligence, certainly not the three directors ultimately responsible, SNP councillor Kate Campbell, the Green’s Claire Miller and Labour’s Mandy Watt, herself an accountant.

No-one predicted the Covid pandemic would hit so soon after the decision to wind down the company, but not so warnings about leaving the city without the means to compete in an international market.

And no-one foresaw that the most compelling images beaming round the world of Edinburgh’s first full Festival since lockdown were of heaps of uncollected garbage.