Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Consultation over Edinburgh's Christmas and Hogmanay

Hogmanay fireworks over Edinburgh
Image caption The council wants to build on an "extremely successful" two years for the city's Christmas and Hogmanay celebrations

Residents and businesses are to be consulted over Edinburgh's winter festivals, the council has said.

Possible changes would be introduced for Christmas and Hogmanay 2022, when the current contract runs out.

The festivals are currently produced by Underbelly, which has had its contract extended by two years.

The extension includes provision to protect East Princes Street Gardens, including the area being refurbished by the National Galleries of Scotland.

The council said it wanted to build on an "extremely successful" two years.

Underbelly has produced Edinburgh's Christmas in East Princes Street Gardens, and elsewhere in the city for six years.

'Significant benefits' locally

The council said the income from Edinburgh's Christmas went towards funding the city's three-day Hogmanay festivities.

It has also funded improvements to visitor services at the Scott Monument and City Art Centre; delivered the city's Festivals and Events programme; supported the Burns & Beyond Festival; and supported the seven-day operation of the city's museums and galleries.

Councillor Donald Wilson said the festivals bought "significant financial and cultural benefits to the local economy".

He added: "In order to sustain this success, now is the right time to have a broader conversation with our residents, businesses and other stakeholders about how we want our future winter festivals to look.

"While reflecting the continued success of Underbelly as producers of the festivals, the extension gives us the time we need to do this properly. We'll then be able to carry out a procurement exercise directly informed by this feedback."

Underbelly's Charlie Wood and Ed Bartlam welcomed the consultation, and added that they were committed to respecting and protecting the environment.