THE campaign to raise money for a popular Edinburgh festival, Hidden Door, has raised £20,000, but organisers hope a series of events will generate more.

Hidden Door said it is issuing a "final rallying call" for support to "secure its future."

The festival says it can return in 2020 if its fundraising targets are met - they need to raise £40,000 by the end of the year.

Hidden Door said it hopes to run a smaller “weekender event” in 2019, featuring live music at the Leith Theatre, which the festival has been key in re-vitalising.

The organisers have said that a benefactor has "come forward to offer an interest-free loan in the form of match funding, if the campaign can reach the halfway point of £40,000 by 31 December 2018."

A Hidden Door Christmas Art Sale will take place on Friday 7 and Saturday 8 December at Skylight Cafe in central Edinburgh, will feature 200 artworks donated by past contributors and supporters.

David Martin, Creative Director, said: “We believe Hidden Door is making a real difference to artists and creative people in Scotland.

"It is creating accessible, engaging experiences for audiences, and is leaving a legacy, both to the communities we invest in and the fabric of the city itself, such as with the Leith Theatre.

"Since launching our appeal in the summer, we have been overwhelmed and humbled by the public support. People really value what we’re trying to achieve, but we can’t do this without that support."

Irvine Welsh, author and patron of Leith Theatre, said: "The contribution that Hidden Door made when they worked with us to open up Leith Theatre last year and showcase its potential made an absolutely massive difference to the Trust’s progress.

"It’s important to support grass-root arts organisations who give space and a platform to emerging artists.

"I really hope they succeed in raising enough money to keep contributing to Edinburgh’s edgier and inclusive scene."

THE Royal Lyceum Theatre has announced its Christmas show for next year - a new version of A Christmas Carol.

An Edinburgh Christmas Carol, an adaptation of Charles Dickens’ famous story is set in Victorian Edinburgh.

It has been adapted and will be directed by Tony Cownie (The Belle’s Stratagem, Thon Man Molière, The Venetian Twins, Mary Queen of Scots Got Her Head Chopped Off).

Mr Cownie said: “I look forward to welcoming Lyceum audiences of all ages to Victorian Edinburgh, where the heartless Scrooge has his shop directly opposite Greyfriars Kirkyard.

"All the original characters are here, with the exciting addition of a very loyal, dogged and lovable neighbour - Bobby.

"The Scottish establishment, and the Kirk in particular, had a very Scrooge-like attitude towards Christmas in the nineteenth century so it was not just Ebenezer that considered it all a humbug - Edinburgh has definitely learned a thing or two from it’s own ghosts of Christmas past."

An Edinburgh Christmas Carol is on sale now with this year’s prices held until the end of January.

A PAINTING by JMW Turner could be exported from the UK unless a buyer can be found.

The oil on canvas ‘Walton Bridges’, believed to have been painted in 1806, has been blocked from export by Michael Ellis, the UK minister for arts, heritage and tourism, to provide an opportunity to keep it in the country.

The painting, which was sold at auction in July 2018 for £3.4m, shows the double-span bridge that ran across the River Thames between the locks at Sunbury and Shepperton in Surrey.

It is understood to be the first Turner completed in the open air and followed his move to Sion Ferry House in Isleworth in 1804/5.

Mr Ellis said: "Turner is one of Britain’s greatest ever artists, whose studies of British life still resonate with the public today. ‘

"Walton Bridges’ is a wonderful example of his distinctive style and his fascination with the landscapes of 19th century Britain.

"It has so much significance for artistic and historical reasons that it is right that we do all we can to save this masterpiece for the benefit of the nation.”

The decision to defer the export licence follows a recommendation by the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest, which is administered by The Arts Council.

They made their recommendation on the grounds that the painting is of "outstanding aesthetic importance, and has an outstanding significance to the study of Turner’s work supported by a history of ownership by leading collectors of British art."

The decision on the export licence application for the sculpture has now been deferred until 28 February next year.