SCOTLAND'S festivals are to benefit from £2m of government funding in 2018-19.

The Festivals Expo Fund allocations include £190,000 for the Edinburgh International Festival, which this year will return to the Leith Theatre for the first time in 30 years.

Funding of £550,000 will support the Edinburgh Festival Fringe's Made in Scotland programme, which showcases Scottish theatre, dance and music.

Glasgow's Celtic Connections has also been awarded £100,000 for the first time.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "Over the past 10 years, our Expo Fund has enabled us to invest in the development of both emerging and established artists in Scotland, supporting the creation of new partnerships and collaborations, and enabling artists to tour locally and internationally.

"Through this funding, projects that encourage collaborations between Scotland's artists and cultural organisations are supported to create new work of local, national and international relevance."

Lorna Duguid, multi-artform manager at Creative Scotland, added: "This funding will enable the creation and presentation of ambitious and innovative work from Scotland's outstanding talent to audiences at home and abroad."

THE best selling author and academic Professor Cordelia Fine has been awarded the 2018 Edinburgh Medal.

The Medal is an annual award that recognises scientists "who have excelled in their field and have contributed significantly to our understanding and wellbeing of humanity."

Professor Fine will deliver her Edinburgh Medal Address – Science, Values and Gender Equality, Reflections from the Battleground – at the City Chambers on 4 April.

Previous Medal winners include Professor Jane Goodall (1991), Sir David Attenborough (1998) and Professor Peter Higgs and CERN (2013).

She said: “It’s obviously the most tremendous honour. And I also see it as a wonderful recognition of the importance of the work of scientists – often women – that I write about in my books and draw on in my academic research, who have progressed science by challenging long-held assumptions about the sexes and asking different research questions.”

Amanda Tyndall, Creative and Festival Director at the Edinburgh International Science Festival, says: “We are absolutely delighted to present Professor Cordelia Fine with the 2018 Edinburgh Medal. Her work makes an invaluable contribution to the gender debate and is a perfect fit with the Festival’s commitment to equality and diversity and the championing of the role of women in science.”

Her latest book Testosterone Rex winning the Royal Society Insight Investment Science Book Prize 2017. She is also a regular media voice in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Monthly and New Statesman.

Born in Toronto, Prof Fine spent her childhood in the United States and Edinburgh.