High-profile Scottish arts festivals set to share £1.8m funding boost

The funding, initially launched in 2007, will include Glasgow Film Festival for the first time.

High-profile Scottish arts festivals set to share £1.8m funding boost from Scottish Government iStock

Arts festivals across Glasgow and Edinburgh are set to share £1.8m in funding from the Scottish Government.

Glasgow Film Festival (GFF) is among the events set to receive money from the designated funding pot for the first time with a total of 14 recipients for the 2023-24 period.

The Expo Fund, set up by the Scottish Government in 2007, aims to expand arts festivals to boost the profile of the national and international events.

Despite initially being established to support the Edinburgh Festivals and Hogmanay, the funding has been expanded to support other events across the city as well as in Glasgow.

Biennial visual art and sonic festival Sonica will also receive funding for the first time along with GFF.

They join Celtic Connections, the Scottish International Story Festival and the Edinburgh Festivals among the recipients.

The Edinburgh International Film Festival, which announced a scaled down event for 2023 following the news of its closure in October 2022, will also receive funding.

Creative Scotland, who distribute the funding, have welcomed the news and say the money will “further expand the diversity of opportunities and inspirational work reaching international audiences”.

Chief executive Iain Munro said: “Scotland is known across the globe for its outstanding array of world-class festivals.

“The Expo Fund is vital in raising the international profile of these festivals and enabling them to enhance their programmes through exciting and innovative co-productions and collaborations.”

Culture Minister Christina McKelvie said: “Scotland’s major festivals are a wonderful showcase for the extraordinary range of artistic talent we have in this country.

“The Expo Fund not only helps to support performances at home, but enables artists to find new audiences further afield. 

“The last few years have been challenging for the culture sector, especially festivals and events.

“I’m pleased that we are able to continue this important fund and include two more Glasgow-based festivals who will receive support for the first time.”

Expo Fund 2023-24 recipients:

  • Celtic Connections – £101,000
  • Edinburgh Art Festival – £130,000
  • Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society – £550,000
  • Edinburgh International Book Festival – £85,000
  • Edinburgh International Festival – £100,000
  • Edinburgh International Film Festival – £59,000
  • Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival – £100,000
  • Edinburgh Science Festival – £120,000
  • Glasgow International Festival – £75,000
  • Hogmanay – £130,000
  • Imaginate – Edinburgh International Children’s Festival – £130,000
  • Scottish International Story Festival – £120,000
  • As new entrants, Glasgow Film Festival and Sonica will share – £100,000
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