Galleries chief calls for more festival funding


The director general of the National Galleries of Scotland has warned that funding for Edinburgh festivals must be increased for the month of August, if it is to continue to reign supreme over international rivals. John Leighton claims visitor numbers can treble during August, and investment should be adjusted accordingly. “The festivals need to be supported at the appropriate international level. The directors are saying they are not, and they are in a pretty good position to judge. We can’t say much about the new regime in Scotland yet, but they do have to get behind the festivals. There are encouraging signs, but what happens over the next 12 months is crucial.” He added that although the national galleries would continue to collaborate with the international festival in the future, the programme will never be fully affiliated to the festival. Meanwhile, director of the Edinburgh international festival Jonathan Mills joined the debate, claiming the funding received by his programme sits at £4 million, while the Salzburg festival is awarded £10 million.


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