Page last updated at 12:55 GMT, Friday, 12 December 2008

Fringe receives financial support

Pauline McLean
BBC Scotland arts correspondent

Edinburgh Fringe website
Online sales of Fringe tickets were affected by a new computer system

Edinburgh's festival fringe is to be given a 250,000 funding package to tackle cash-flow problems.

It follows problems at the box office this summer which affected tickets for hundreds of shows.

The funding package includes a loan of 125,000 from Edinburgh City Council and a one-off grant of 65,000 from the Scottish Arts Council.

The Scottish Government will also provide an advance of 60,000 on future funding.

Scottish Enterprise will provide specialist business analysis and development advice to help the event into 2009.

Funding package

The organisations will also form a monitoring group, which will set a range of targets for the management of the Fringe.

"This very welcome support package will allow us to stabilise our immediate cash flow challenges," said Fringe general manager Tim Hawkins.

"We look forward to building a strong relationship with funding partners which will allow us continue providing an economic benefit of over 100m to Edinburgh and the wider Scottish economy."

Steve Cardownie, the council's city festival and events champion, said he was confident the Fringe had a bright future.

"Although this funding package is significant, part of it is a loan and part was already in the pipeline.

"This is cash-flow assistance only, which demonstrates the underlying strength of the Fringe business model.

"The Fringe is a vital part of our cultural landscape and our economy and we will ensure, through our monitoring group, that the organisation is on a firm footing for the future."

Culture minister Linda Fabiani said: "Alongside the loan from the city council and the grant from the Scottish Arts Council, we are providing a one-off advance of future funding to provide stability and allow the Fringe to develop for the future.

"This reflects our shared confidence in the Fringe as it plans for another successful year in 2009, the year of Homecoming."

And Iain Munro of the Scottish Arts Council said: "We recognise the value of the Fringe's significant contribution to both Edinburgh's summer festivals and Scotland's cultural life and we look forward to working closely with the Fringe Society to resolve the challenges it faces."

The Fringe is still without a director following the resignation of the previous director, Jon Morgan at the end of this year's event.

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