Marketing Edinburgh’s chair reacts to council’s proposed budget cuts

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Marketing Edinburgh’s chair reacts to council’s proposed budget cuts

Edinburgh city council has recently back-pedalled on some of its plans to cut budgets across the city, as it attempts to fill a £33m funding gap left by the Scottish Government.

Many sectors are facing cuts in the proposed new budget, including schools, hospitality and tourism.

Marketing Edinburgh, an organisation that promotes tourism to the city of Edinburgh, are among those hit hardest by the proposed cuts.

The organisation supported Government plans to introduce a bed tax for hotels in the city, but was subsequently told the Government planned to cut all its funding.

The initial plan by City of Edinburgh council was to cut £567K (64%) in 2019/2020 and a further £223K (89%) in 2020/2021 from Marketing Edinburgh’s current grant of £890K. Marketing Edinburgh presented a counter proposal to the council, suggesting they only cut £300k in 2019/20. The counter proposal was included in the coalition motion which was passed 21 February – subject to development of a business plan which outlines a detailed strategy for transition to zero funding.

CMW asked Marketing Edinburgh chair Gordon Robertson to comment on the cuts.

He said: “In recent weeks, Marketing Edinburgh has worked hard to develop and submit what we believe is a viable counter proposal to City of Edinburgh Council’s proposed budget cuts. We will now move forward to focus on the next step in the evolution of Marketing Edinburgh to become a destination marketing management organisation. 

“That said, £300K is a significant cut and will need to be managed carefully. Our focus now will be to co-produce an appropriate business model which continues to deliver our services to the City of Edinburgh and our members within the revised budget. Private sector funding and collaboration with our members are an essential component.

“Marketing Edinburgh exists to promote what’s in the best interest for Edinburgh and our members, and we shall continue our efforts to sustain Edinburgh’s reputation as one of the best places in the world to live, work, invest, study and visit.  

“On behalf of the Marketing Edinburgh Board and our members, I want to extend our thanks to all our partners and peers from across tourism, hospitality, marketing and film industries, as well as the city’s academic and business leaders, for their support in recognising the critical role we have played in the city’s success to date. It is greatly appreciated.”

Stuart Wood is a news reporter across the Mash Media editorial portfolio. He writes for CMW alongside sister publications Conference News, Exhibition News, Access All Areas and Exhibition World.