Preferred Event Producer for Edinburgh's Hogmanay and Christmas Announced

Unique Events Ltd and Underbelly Ltd are poised to deliver Edinburgh's world-famous Christmas and Hogmanay festival and event programmes.

Subject to approval by the council's Finance & Budget committee next Thursday, a single service contract will be awarded to the consortium, replacing the two separate contracts, which were concluded in January.

The contract, which offers management autonomy and an opportunity to review the attractions, events and festival, transfers all financial responsibility and risk to the contractor. It will run for a period of three years with an option to extend by up to a further two.

Thirty-seven notes of interest were received for delivering the contract, with two consortium bids taken forward to the final stages. 

The bids were assessed in a lengthy and detailed process focusing on the enhancement of the programmes and reduction of financial risk to the Council while maintaining and increasing current levels of economic impact, media exposure and international promotion of the city.

The subsidy requested from the Council for delivery is £1,297,456 per annum, fixed for three years. This is in line with the current combined budget for the two events.

The contractor will be liable for any costs that exceed the agreed subsidy and, should final net cost in any year be less, the Council will receive a percentage share of the balance.

Cllr Steve Cardownie, Festivals & Events Champion, City of Edinburgh Council, said:

"Edinburgh's hugely popular Christmas and Hogmanay celebrations and attractions are an integral part of the Scottish festival and events calendar and annually provide a great boost to the economy.

"Through this process, we wanted to ensure that both elements continue to go from strength to strength and remain fresh and exciting every year while, at the same time, transferring the financial risk away from the Council.

"Assuming Committee's approval next Thursday, we are confident that we can work with the preferred consortium to maintain and improve upon Edinburgh's global reputation as a pre-eminent festival city and leading winter destination."

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