Warning over Edinburgh Hogmanay budget

THE organiser of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations has warned it will be “impossible” to stage the event on its current scale if its budget is hit by council cutbacks.

Pete Irvine says scaling back the event will be inevitable. Picture: Julie Bull
Pete Irvine says scaling back the event will be inevitable. Picture: Julie Bull

Pete Irvine, the producer of the capital’s lucrative festivities since they were launched in 1993, said the scaling back of the event, which is currently staged over three days, will be ­inevitable.

He warned any such moves could have a dramatic impact on the benefits the city receives from the festival. Mr Irvine added recent research had found last year’s Hogmanay celebrations generated £41 million, but pointed out the figure does not include the value of global media coverage.

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Ironically, the proposed cuts emerged on the same day Mr Irvine unveiled a major expansion of the street party. The Royal Mile will be included in the celebrations for the first time in 16 years.

Councillors have suggested cutting the £1.3 million budget for the city’s winter festivals by £500,000 for each of the next four years.

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This is despite agreeing a new contract earlier this year with Mr Irvine’s company Unique Events.