Wednesday, June 29, 2022
EntertainmentWill the Grinch or Gordon Gekko take control of Edinburgh's Christmas future?

Will the Grinch or Gordon Gekko take control of Edinburgh’s Christmas future?

RESIDENTS of the Scottish capital are being asked how Edinburgh should celebrate Christmas and New Year.

Last year’s celebrations were axed because of Covid-19 but concern has been mounting among residents for several years about the nature of the events.

The local council has been under fire for allowing large areas of the city centre to be closed off for paid-for events.

But many businesses welcome the annual festivals because of the large numbers of big-spending visitors they attract.

Edinburgh’s Hogmanay fireworks attract thousands of visitors but some residents fear the winter festivals are over-commercialised cash grabs

Edinburgh Council is carrying out a 12-week survey, carried out by an independent market research company, which is now live on the Consultation Hub.

London-based events firm Underbelly has the lucrative contract for Edinburgh’s Christmas and New Year celebrations until January 2022.

The survey seeks feedback from the residents, communities and businesses on how these events should be delivered from 2022 onwards.

Councillor Donald Wilson, culture and communities head, said: “This is a good time to take stock and look at what people think and what people want.

“We will establish a balanced knowledge of how Edinburgh citizens regard these celebrations, both positive and negative.

“It is therefore important that as many people as possible make their views heard.”

The consultation closes on 19 May.

In 2019/20, over 2.6m visitors attended the Christmas festivities in Princes Street Gardens, an increase of nearly 5% on the previous year.

But many events have involved closing off parts of central Edinburgh to anyone without a ticket.

Controversy erupted when it was reported residents living in these zones would have to tell festival organisers about their visitors in an apparent bid to stop revellers avoiding charges.

And in 2015, there was embarrassment when festival retailers were caught selling supermarket mulled wine worth £3 a bottle at four times the price.

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