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Cardownie: It's business as usual

posted 8 Jun 2009, 04:57 by TollcrossOnline Admin   [ updated 31 Oct 2009, 15:04 by David Rintoul ]

The Hogmanay Street Party will not be threatened by a cost-saving shake-up in the way Edinburgh's winter festivals are organised, the city's events champion said today.

Councillor Steve Cardownie said the event was the "jewel in the crown" of the Capital's festivals and guaranteed it would remain at the heart of the winter programme, despite 10,000 tickets going unsold for last year's event, which saw a loss of more than £500,000.

But he said that the council hoped to dramatically reduce its own involvement in the running of Hogmanay and Christmas events – known jointly as the Winter Festival – handing over marketing and ticket sales to private operators to cut the costs and the risk to the city.

Edinburgh firm Unique Events currently has a contract to produce the Hogmanay celebrations, but ticketing and marketing are carried out by the city.

Cllr Cardownie said: "The Winter Festival is our only festival that's actually delivered by the council officials and we don't regard it as the best model. We've got very good staff involved in overseeing the festival, but in terms of the entrepreneurial support and in terms of getting together a programme, knowing what the public are looking for, that's best left to the people that do it for a living.