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Funding for Scottish talent

27/03/2008

Edinburgh's Festivals will benefit to the tune of £6 million over three years to promote Scottish-based work thanks to new funding from the Scottish Government.

The 'Edinburgh Festival Expo Fund' is a manifesto commitment which is being delivered to support new productions, events or exhibitions involving Scottish-based participants that premiere at any of the Edinburgh Festivals. The fund can also be used to support touring of events or performances after their premiere at the festival and allow successful work to reach new audiences.

Culture Minister Linda Fabiani said:

"Scotland's diverse and vibrant cultural life is one of our country's defining features. With Edinburgh as the pre-eminent festival capital of the world we have a real platform to showcase the best of Scottish talent to international audiences.

"The Expo Fund is designed to help maintain the global competitive edge of the Festivals which make a significant contribution to our economy and attract visitors from around the world. This new support demonstrates the importance that this Government places on our creative industries.

"One of our key priorities is to ensure that we get more Scottish-based artists involved in the Edinburgh festivals and touring within and outwith Scotland thereafter. That is why this Government is delivering on its manifesto commitment of an Expo Fund which will increase participation and enliven the arts scene.

"Eleven of the Festivals have bid for the Expo Fund and I look forward to announcing successful bids in the run up to the summer programme. This funding will provide new opportunities for our artists, producers and creative talent to flourish within the context of the festivals.

"In a time of true cultural renaissance in Scotland, the Expo Fund signals a positive step forward for our creative sector. This will help maximise the opportunities that Edinburgh's Festivals provide for artists in Scotland and showcase the quality and range of our cultural endeavours to the rest of the world."

Director of Festivals Edinburgh Faith Liddell said:

"Festivals Edinburgh profoundly welcomes the Scottish Government's important new Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund and this important commitment to our Festivals and to their essential role in the national and international presentation and promotion of Scotland's artists and performing companies. This first year-long Edinburgh Festivals Expo programme is the single largest showcase of Scottish artists and work ever mounted, presented on the unrivalled international platform of Scotland's world-renowned Edinburgh Festivals.

"With this significant Scottish Government support, Edinburgh's Festivals have worked individually and collectively to create a portfolio of unique, high quality and high profile showcase opportunities for Scottish companies and individual artists across all art forms, providing unrivalled international platforms for the presentation and promotion of the very best of Scottish work and the means by which that work can be taken on to venues, events, festivals and cultural institutions elsewhere in Scotland, the UK and internationally."

The planned expenditure for the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund is £6 million over three years (2008-2009 to 2011-2012).

Resources of £1.308 million are available for allocation in 2008-09. The assessment process and funding is administered by the Scottish Arts Council.

The Expo Fund is available to all 12 Festivals in Edinburgh to support the development of Scottish-based work.

The main role for co-ordinating and delivering the portfolio of Expo projects falls to Festivals Edinburgh, led by Faith Liddell. A panel comprising members of the Thundering Hooves steering group and Festivals Forum has recommended the projects for funding in 2008-09. Successful projects will be announced shortly.