Initial statement on Fringe's inclusion in UK Government's spring budget
16 March 2023
The funding announcement by the UK Government this week has rightly created a huge amount of interest in what it means for the Fringe. We have been relentlessly lobbying for support for the Edinburgh Fringe on a number of fronts, including every possible route to sourcing more affordable and available accommodation, an extension of theatre tax relief for temporary Fringe venues, further funds for the recently announced Keep it Fringe artists' fund, and additional support channels for all participants in the Fringe.
Since 2017, in our published blueprint, we had also set out an aspiration to have a central community-based hub to house all the services offered by the Fringe Society, and provide a space for our community partners, artists, visiting arts industry and media. The funding announced this week is from the UK Government's capital investment fund – it is not revenue funding, therefore it is ringfenced to be used against capital spending only. This is not about a new HQ for the Fringe Society; it is about the creation of a Fringe community hub in Edinburgh, and at its heart is to be a partnership with other community and creative partners in the city. It is a project that will be shaped in the coming years with city partners and Fringe participants on how the space can best support them at festival-time and throughout the year.
We are acutely aware of the enormous challenges facing the whole Fringe community and indeed the wider arts sector, and will not stop in our advocacy for more resource and support across all the vital areas of need. We have had nothing in writing from the UK Government at this point, and need to understand fully what the capital funding offer is; we will then provide a fuller update.