Edinburgh Christmas and Hogmanay budget to be cut

The Edinburgh Christmas budget is set to be slashed. Picture: Comp

The Edinburgh Christmas budget is set to be slashed. Picture: Comp

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THE budget for Edinburgh’s Christmas and Hogmanay celebrations is set to be slashed next year as council chiefs search for savings to balance the books.

The city currently spends £1.3 million on the festivities which bring thousands of visitors to the city every year.

This year's event will see the Royal Mile lit up. Picture: comp

This year's event will see the Royal Mile lit up. Picture: comp

But the council’s draft budget for 2016/17 proposes a £500,000 cut in funding.

Edinburgh Hogmanay unveiled as Royal Mile expansion announced

The move comes as plans for this year’s winter festivals were due to be unveiled, including expanding the Hogmanay street party to include the Royal Mile as well as Princes Street.

City leaders say they are looking for value for money and insist the proposed reduction in funding should not mean scaling back future celebrations.

Edinburgh City council currently spends �1.3m on the festivities. Picture: Comp

Edinburgh City council currently spends �1.3m on the festivities. Picture: Comp

The Christmas and Hogmanay events have been run for the past two years by a consortium of Unique Events and Underbelly, but their contract comes to an end with this year’s celebrations.

The council could opt to renew the deal, but the draft budget proposes seeking a new provider “to deliver Hogmanay and Christmas programmes that are more cost-effective to the council”.

Last year’s celebrations are estimated to have boosted the Capital’s economy by nearly £242m.

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