Scottish government pledges £1 million to Scottish Fringe performers

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By Oliver Farrimond

SCOTTISH artists at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival received a massive boost yesterday as the Scottish Government pledged £1 million to showcase their work.

The fund, which is spread over the next two years, will help Scots performers develop and showcase their work at the world-famous festival this August.

The Edinburgh Festival Expo Fund will promote the work of talented Scots performers through the “Made in Scotland” programme to an international Fringe audience.

The fund also provides for artists to tour their performances internationally following a successful run during the Fringe.

Mike Russell, Culture Minister, said: “Expo is about recognising exceptional creative talent that exists in Scotland and giving it an international platform to excel on.

“Our renowned Edinburgh festivals are celebrated the world over and Scottish-based artists have so much to offer – that is why so far this year we have awarded over £1.6 million across four festivals with more to follow through the year.

“The Fringe brings huge cultural and economic benefits to Scotland, generating £75 million annually, and it is particularly exciting that ‘Made in Scotland’ comes into being in this year of Homecoming when we will welcome so many people from around the world.”

The Edinburgh Fringe brings huge economic and cultural benefits to the Capital, generating more than £70 million annually.

However the festival was beset with problems last year after a new £385,000 ticketing system collapsed on the first day, causing chaos amongst tourists and performers alike.

Festival chief executive Kath Mainland said: “We’ve been working on the ticketing system all through the winter as you would imagine, and right now all systems are go for a very successful Fringe this summer.

“Our partnership with the Scottish Government has been very beneficial – this Expo fund will provide Scottish companies a real chance to take advantage of the international platform the Edinburgh Fringe provides.”

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