Forever Edinburgh: Local residents encouraged to rediscover magic of Scottish Capital as Covid-19 restrictions lift

After months of enduring restrictions and a stay at home order, the Scottish Capital is set to welcome back locals to breathe life back into Edinburgh’s vibrant streets once again.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 10:20 am

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Edinburgh is versatile, loved by locals and renowned for its picturesque streets, historic buildings and beautiful outdoor spaces.

Now, our city’s shops, bars, restaurants and attractions are gearing up for a big day on Monday as pandemic restrictions are eased further.

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Locals are being invited back to rediscover the beauty and magic of Scotland's Capital city

A major campaign is being launched ahead of the big reopening. It is an open invitation to every resident to throw their weight behind our great city – and to show Edinburgh what it means to them.

The Forever Edinburgh campaign is a call for people to rediscover the many and varied attractions the the Capital - from its wide range of independent shops, cafes and restaurants to outstanding visitor attractions and beautiful open spaces.

The campaign is also asking visitors to support local businesses, many of which have had a torrid time during lockdown and are relying on returning customers for their very survival.

Work has been underway in recent days across the city to make sure businesses are ready to welcome visitors back in a Covid-safe way.

Versatile Edinburgh boasts an abundance of unique outdoor spaces, including coastal and waterway locations

The Evening News is supporting the campaign and over the coming weeks we will be bringing you daily updates and features on all the great things the reopening city has to offer and exciting initiatives that businesses and venues are doing to entice customers back.

Delivered jointly by the Edinburgh City Council, Edinburgh Tourism Action Group (ETAG) and VisitScotland, the campaign aims to breathe life back into the city’s streets and deliver vital support to the Capital’s dynamic stories and the unique experiences to be had around every corner.

The city is awash with fabulous attractions, shops, bars and restaurants at a time when lockdown is easing, allowing people greater freedom to travel, meet up and spend time together once again like we have longed to do so for so long.

Alongside showcasing all that the city has to offer, both in the centre and its eclectic neighbourhoods, the new campaign will also shine a light on Edinburgh’s abundance of outdoor spaces, including coastal and waterway locations, and support the recovery of regions surrounding the city, which offer fantastic visitor experience to residents and tourists alike throughout the year.

The campaign follows month of lockdown restrictions which have forced people to stay at home and local businesses to shut up shop

Over the next six to twelve months, the campaign will feature a series of summer and winter-themed films that will bring Edinburgh’s fascinating stories to life, from its fantastic folklore and magical myths to its historic shores and waters.

It will tell stories from beyond the grave and take a look at Edinburgh’s tasty past and present. Citizens and visitors will be invited to explore undiscovered parts of Edinburgh, with more exciting chapters still to be revealed.

Local businesses and Edinburgh residents are encouraged to get behind the campaign by sharing their own stories of Edinburgh using #ForeverEdinburgh, to inspire their friends and fellow citizens and help them plan their next outing in Scotland’s Capital city.

Councillor Adam McVey, Edinburgh City Council’s leader, said: “’Forever Edinburgh – The Story Never Ends’ is designed to inspire people to get out and about safely and confidently as they seek out old favourites and discover new ones - creating memories that will last a lifetime. All the while supporting our vibrant local businesses as Edinburgh gets back to its fabulous self.

What stories might Edinburgh’s picturesque streets, historic buildings and beautiful outdoor spaces tell us if they could speak? This is a question set to be answered by the City’s exciting new marketing campaign: ‘Forever Edinburgh - The Story Never Ends’.

“This campaign puts our people, place and environment at its heart and mirrors our longer-term tourism strategy, approved just before the pandemic took hold. We’re sticking with our long-term goals and have mapped out a sustainable way forward for our tourism sector which Edinburgh’s residents asked for. Ultimately, we need a Team Edinburgh approach to deliver on those aspirations.

“So, I encourage our residents, our businesses from retail and hospitality and our tourism sector to celebrate all that is great about our Capital by telling their own stories and bringing the beauty of our city and landscapes to life. Our story is ever-changing and never-ending, and we want our residents and visitors to be a part of that too, helping support our local economy and our City’s fair, inclusive and sustainable recovery.”

Donald Emslie, chair of ETAG, said: “The reopening of the sector on April 26 is hugely welcome news and after the turmoil of the last year, it is vitally important that we support the recovery of our tourism and hospitality sector throughout the coming weeks and months. We are looking forward to encouraging residents and visitors to get out and about to experience the best our city has to offer and supporting our local businesses in the process.

“We will of-course be doing this in the face of strong competition from destinations right across the UK, all of whom will be working just as hard to attract visitors, particularly from UK and Scottish markets. We are therefore delighted to have been champions of the Forever Edinburgh initiative since last year. Chairing the Forever Edinburgh Working Group over the last few months has ensured a true partnership approach which has been gratefully recognised by both VisitScotland and Scottish Government whose funding support has allowed us to develop a promotional platform that can work for all tourism and hospitality businesses across the city.

“We’d like to invite everyone right across the city to get behind the campaign and to create and share their own stories with locals and visitors alike.”

Paula Ward, regional leadership director at VisitScotland, said: “Edinburgh is Scotland’s tourism crown jewels and this exciting campaign will help to reinvigorate the city’s tourism sector as it recovers from the devastation left by the pandemic. It is the city’s stories and people that are the foundation of what makes Edinburgh a world-class visitor destination. Forever Edinburgh will not only showcase the experiences and businesses found across the city but will act as a springboard for the surrounding regions, with dedicated regional pages, spreading the benefits of tourism to the capital in a sustainable and responsible way. For tourism is a force for good – creating economic and social value in every corner of Scotland and enhancing the well-being of everyone who experiences it.”

The £145,000 ‘Forever Edinburgh – The Story Never Ends’ campaign has been part funded by the Scottish Government’s regional recovery fund and VisitScotland’s market readiness fund.

It will build on last year’s successful launch of Forever Edinburgh – a city-wide collaboration of business from the tourism and hospitality sectors, alongside the council and other partners, including VisitScotland, ETAG and Scottish Enterprise – and the #ShopHereThisYear, aimed at Edinburgh residents encouraging them to support local businesses in neighbourhoods across the city, which kicked off late last year.

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