EDINBURGH'S festivals have been described as an “economic powerhouse” for the city and the whole of Scotland.

An impact study carried out by BOP Consulting covered all 11 festivals in 2022 – from the Edinburgh Science Festival to Hogmanay.

The economic impact of the festivals on Edinburgh was found to be £407m in 2022 – up from £280m in 2015. The impact on Scotland over the same period shifted from £313m to £367m.

The research looked at 22,000 people while considering local spending, unlike former surveys that focused solely on new money brought in by visitors.

The study showed that the festivals have not fully recovered after the pandemic, especially with international audiences as residents made up more than 50% of attendance at the festival last year.

Dr Simon Gage, chair of Festivals Edinburgh, said: “The positive impact our festivals have on businesses, jobs and livelihoods is great news for the people of our city and country.

“We need to ensure that this economic recovery is built on a solid foundation of good responsible growth, looking after our people, our place and our planet.

“We call on all funders and supporters to come together to consider their long-term role in helping Edinburgh Festivals remain Scotland’s world-leading cultural bands and a crucial economic powerhouse for people’s jobs and livelihoods.”

Richard Naylor, director of research at BOP consulting, pointed to the study as strengthening the key message from earlier research that the festivals are a major contributor to the economy of Edinburgh and Scotland.

He added: "This economic impact spreads far beyond the immediate cultural economy, with the biggest beneficiaries being those in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

“That the festivals have bounced back so strongly shows the importance of communal events in our post-pandemic world, with audiences and visitors increasingly seeking out unique cultural experiences such as the Edinburgh Festivals.”

The study showed that more than half of visitors to the festival were in Scotland solely for that purpose.