NEW producers have been announced for Edinburgh’s Christmas under an “emergency contract award”.

Councillors have today approved revised plans for Edinburgh’s festive celebrations, with "experienced local event producers" Unique Assembly now set to deliver both Edinburgh’s Christmas and Hogmanay festivals for 2022.

The council said a full review will be conducted into the collapse of the contract with a previous business.

The new production team involves Unique Events and Assembly Festival.

The programme, which will preserve the core festive attractions for the city this year, includes the popular Christmas Market and funfair attractions in East and West Princes Street Gardens and on the Mound, an ice rink on George Street, new lighting and projections on George Street, charity installation Festival of Kindness in St Andrew Square, and a selection of free festive events and shows for families at the Ross Bandstand, such as the traditional Nativity Carol Concert.

The contract has been awarded for one year, with the option of a one-year extension, should pre-agreed performance measures be met.

The decision was taken at a special meeting of the council’s finance and resources committee, which the council said was convened following the request to terminate and withdraw from the contract by Angels Event Experience (AEE), late last month.

The council, said the company asked to be released from the contract.

AEE’s limited involvement in the operation of the Christmas Market, as a subcontractor to Unique Assembly, will allow for celebrations to go ahead this year, while ensuring the 70 stallholders and local businesses who had been expecting to trade can still do so, the council said.

More details and timings of the programme will be announced in the coming weeks.

Cammy Day, council leader, said: “I’m delighted that we’ve been able to find a solution so quickly, ensuring Edinburgh’s world-famous Christmas celebrations can go ahead this year.

“We will, of course, conduct a full review into why this happened but our absolute priority is to ensure that we provide high-quality festive celebrations for the city – and that these should be delivered in the spirit of the feedback received in our consultation with residents, businesses and stakeholders.

“I’d like to give my thanks to Unique Assembly for reacting so quickly to our request and I’m sure we’ll enjoy many benefits by working closely with this experienced team of local event producers.

“There’s no questioning the popularity of our Winter Festivals or the benefits they bring to the Capital – the enjoyment and wellbeing of our residents, but also the economic impact for our businesses and the city as a whole.

“Crucially, the new plans will deliver on the key elements of our public consultation, including reduced use of green spaces, more accessible and family-friendly attractions, greater use of local traders and a more even spread around the city centre.

“I have no doubt Unique Assembly will help us make it yet another great festive period for our Capital city.”

Lesley Macinnes, council SNP finance spokesperson, said: "The big lesson learned from previous years is that this contract needs to be closely monitored.

"The SNP set out action to ensure that Edinburgh’s Christmas in Edinburgh is one for everyone to enjoy and we hope that with the collapse of plans this year, the event can now go ahead reflecting our residents’ views."

A review of the contract and procurement process will take place and be brought to councillors in the New Year.

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