An open letter from Marketing Edinburgh – signed by more than 25 organisations – has been published highlighting concerns that it could lose £790,000 of funding if the City of Edinburgh Council continues with planned budget cuts.
The council has published a consultation – Planning for Change, Delivering Services 2019-2023 Phase Two – that seeks to save £41 million. The proposals include a significant reduction in funding – £790,000 in year one, rising in year two.
According to the body, this would have an extreme impact on the organisation that it says has demonstrated that for every £1 spent by Marketing Edinburgh, £99 is returned.
The letter says that the council is ignoring the vital role that the organisation plays in business tourism to the area (£74 million).
Councillors are currently evaluating the proposals, which would see cuts in funding to Marketing Edinburgh, and subsequently Convention Edinburgh.
The “Change Strategy” wishes to increase income from cultural venues by introducing new charges and the council is also looking to increase charges for the use of parks for one-off events. Furthermore, it’s reviewing the contracts in place for regular events.
The letter reads: “Spare a thought for Marketing Edinburgh – the body that promotes Scotland’s capital – who just days ago found out that the city of Edinburgh Council intends to almost immediately remove 64 per cent of its budget from the organisation, rising to 89 per cent in year two. The proposal – if passed – will go live in a little over eight weeks, leaving Edinburgh as the only major city in the developed world without a Destination Marketing Management Organisation.”
Image: Marketing Edinburgh