£15 million over 5 years to increase creative reach of Edinburgh Festivals

The Scottish Government, City of Edinburgh Council and Edinburgh Festivals have formed and will finance the PLACE (Platforms for Creative Excellence) programme, intended to increase the reach of the renowned annual festivals' work. They have committed £15 million across the next five years. PLACE will be supported and administered by Creative Scotland.

Projects announced to recieve money from the first three years of funding (£5.8 million) are:

  • Edinburgh International Science Festival (£532k)
  • Edinburgh International Children's Festival (£534,602)
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival (£373,647)
  • Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival (£635,489)
  • Edinburgh Art Festival (£645k)
  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society (£500k)
  • Edinburgh International Festival (£1.2 million)
  • Edinburgh International Book Festival (£585k)
  • Scottish international Storytelling Festival (£300k)
  • Edinburgh's Hogmanay (£400k)
  • Festivals Edinburgh (£140k)

The first phase of funding will go towards a number of local, national and international creative projects based on the three aims below. 

Sustained and strengthened programming innovation

New commissions, global and European premieres, national and international partnerships and tours including:

  • Edinburgh International Festival: global programme of performance, creative development and community engagement
  • Arts interventions by globally-recognised companies for Hogmanay
  • Partnering Scottish and international writers exploring world politics and their own journeys
  • Creating and exporting interactive exhibitions on Scotland's research into science and technology with international partners

Increased creative development opportunities across Scotland

Skills development for schools, teachers, young people and professionals with the benefit of the Edinburgh Festivals platform:

  • Inspiring Generations: bringing world-class theatre and dance to schools to help boost creative learning
  • Global Storytelling Lab: an international partnership with Earth Charter Initiative for developing experimental work around people and places
  • A nationwide film programme of curated screenings, workshops, and masterclasses for and with young people

Improved lives for citizens and communities through cultural engagement

Community partnerships, commuity-based productions and creative learning projects:

  • Edinburgh Fringe to work with 31 charities in Edinburgh's most socially-excluded areas
  • New public artwork series commissioned with community partners in areas without much public art
  • A new jazz performance centre, rehearsal space, and music hub in one Edinburgh community

Announcing the PLACE programme, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, said: "The investment is about ensuring Festivals can continue to develop and innovate so they can be world leading in a competitive market, to share the cultural experiences of the Festivals more widely across Scotland and to help more residents and communities of Edinburgh to be part of the Festivals city."

Commenting on the announcement, City of Edinburgh Council Leader Adam McVey, said: "Borne out of our productive City Region Deal discussions with the Scottish Government, this joint funding package is a commitment to protect the legacy and support the future of our festivals. Between them, the festivals attract audiences of over 4.5m and are vital to our city's success and reputation, adding £313m to the Scottish economy every year."

Councillor Donald Wilson, Culture and Communities Convener, City of Edinburgh Council added: "This one-off funding package is a chance to bolster our Festival City's international ambitions and build on their 70 year legacy. In line with our own aspirations to expand the reach of festival activity beyond the city centre and into our communities, and to bring the benefits of the festivals to some of the most socially excluded in Edinburgh, many of these projects are also perfect examples of how we hope to see the festivals develop going forward."

Iain Munro, Acting Chief Executive, Creative Scotland, commented: "Edinburgh's Festivals are a very important and precious asset for culture in Scotland. They play a vital role in connecting Scotland to the world through showcasing our outstanding talent on the international stage and bringing people together from across the globe."

Launch of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe 70th anniversary programme / Image: Edinburgh Festival Fringe


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