Malcolm praises Leith Festival urging the Scottish Government to give it extra funding
Leith Festival Malcolm Chisholm (Edinburgh North and Leith) (Lab):
Can a modest amount of the expo fund be used to support the Leith festival, given that it has lost some of its commercial sponsorship? Can I encourage members to attend some of the wonderful events that will be on during June in the greatest community arts festival in Scotland?

Micheal Russell (The Minister for Culture, External Affairs and the Constitution):
I am glad that Malcolm Chisholm is standing up for the Leith festival, which is an excellent event. So many festivals around Edinburgh are excellent, in Portobello and elsewhere.

It is important that we make a distinction with the 12 festivals that are supported from the expo fund, because they lie at the centre of things. However, Festivals Edinburgh, whose director, Faith Liddell, I met last week, is keen to ensure that, although there is a league table of festivals, so to speak, the effect of the central 12 festivals is felt throughout the city at all the other events, including those that are generated in each community in the city. Therefore, the existence of the expo fund and the 12 festivals already contributes to the success of festivals such as the Leith festival.
June 3rd 2009 (Column 18064)