The Leith festival looks set to face a dramatic downsize due to public funding cuts.
One of Edinburgh’s largest and most renowned festivals, it is likely to lose many of its benefactors,
The event relies heavily on public and charitable funds, which are diminishing at an alarming rate. Edinburgh City Council is just one of the contributors which has decided not to renew their contract with the festival.
The festival has entertained thousands of people over the past 8 years and has earned a reputation as one of the cities most popular attractions. It produces a variety of events including comedy, theatre, music and dance. Festival organizers predict that in 2012, it will be stripped back, returning to its historical roots as a Gala Day and Pageant.
Speaking about the potential cuts, Leith Councillor Gordon Munro said: “We have had to reduce the festival because we don’t have finances. There has never been much money available from the Council and other sources have dried up and for the foreseeable future, I don’t see that changing.”
The residents of Leith have relied heavily on the festival in recent years to bring trade to the area and boost community spirit. Rowan Campbell, on of the festival’s board members, said: “People need to know how vulnerable we are and that it cannot go on without them. We need their help. The festival does great things for the community but there doesn’t seem to be funding available for this sort of community event, if there is we certainly haven’t found it.”
A public meeting is scheduled to be held alongside the Leith festival. The AGM is due to take place on Wednesday 7 December in the Leith Community Centre at 7.30pm. It is open to the public, and any offers to join the board of volunteers who run the festival, will be warmly welcomed.