Investing in Scottish Talent

The latest Expo Fund awards are unveiled for 2016/17

Fiona Hyslop has confirmed £2 million in funding to support Edinburgh’s Festivals. The award, from the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, has been announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs.

 The funding package will support eleven projects during 2016/17, while part of the investment has also been committed to Festivals Edinburgh for joint-festival marketing. The fund will provide festivals with assistance to promote themselves overseas and invest in the work of talented Scottish artists and performers.

Starting in 2008/09, the Expo Fund investment has been transformative for the Edinburgh Festivals and their artists. It has allowed them to create a legacy of important new work, from exceptional writing by Award winning poet Don Paterson, to the interventions of artists Callum Innes at Regent Bridge and Martin Creed at the Scotsman Steps. The creation of new performances such as a stage adaptation of ‘Lanark’ by Alasdair Gray and the addition of SCOT:Lands on 1st January to create a new multi-arts festival within Edinburgh’s Hogmanay has also been well received by audiences.

Ms Hyslop said:

The Scottish Government Expo Fund has administered more than £17 million of direct investment since 2008. This year’s fund will provide creative directors with the opportunity to continue delivering world class performances, drawn from the exceptional talent we have across the whole of Scotland. Edinburgh's festivals are renowned worldwide and provide a platform to showcase our rich culture and exceptional creative talent to a global audience, as well as raise the international profile of Scotland. The festivals contribute more than £261 million in additional tourism revenue to Scotland’s economy every year. We are supporting the work of Edinburgh’s festivals through the Expo fund to drive up innovation, collaboration and artist development which are all vital for the future success of our festivals and Scotland.”

Julia Amour, Director at Festivals Edinburgh, said:

We are delighted that the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund once again recognises that our Festivals are a unique asset for Scotland. By providing the means to showcase Scottish talent on the unparalleled international platform that the Edinburgh Festivals represent, the EXPO Fund opens up a world of opportunity for our country’s artists and thinkers.Whether in creating new work, nurturing young talent or developing international tours, the EXPO Fund has been an innovative finance scheme and in this Year of Innovation, Architecture and Design it is more relevant than ever.

Leonie Bell, Director, Arts and Engagement, Creative Scotland, said;

The ongoing support from the Scottish Government’s Expo fund is a terrific endorsement of the significant contribution Edinburgh’s festivals make in showcasing the range of outstanding work produced in Scotland to audiences at home and abroad.


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