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Government invests in digital for Edinburgh festivals


Mark Say Managing Editor


The UK government has pledged £1 million to fund digital initiatives in support of this year’s cultural festivals in Edinburgh.

Crowd at Edinburgh Fringe

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said that £500,000 will go to a new digital platform to help national and international buyers and producers search from talent from the programmes of the festivals, due to take place in the second half of the year.

Another £500,000 will be open to bids for virtual solutions in commissioning, producing and promoting festival programmes. This is aimed at encouraging collaboration between events and supporting the development of live/digital hybrids.

DCMS said the funding has been made available in response to the challenges of combining physical and online events during the recovery from the Covid-19 lockdown.

It has also been recognised that the arts and entertainment sector, which has been largely closed down during the lockdown, is a major contributor to the UK economy.

Ian Stewart, the UK government’s minister for Scotland, said: “Edinburgh is world famous for its festivals, bringing wider benefits to Scotland’s economy, tourism and arts sectors. We know the last 12 months have been difficult for the culture sector.

“This £1 million funding boost will support organisations to improve their digital capabilities and engage with audiences here in Scotland and further afield.”

Image from iStock, robric77

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