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Future of Marketing Edinburgh under threat after funding dispute
Posted on 07/11/2019

EconomyUnited Kingdom

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The organisation that promotes Edinburgh to the world has just seen all of its board members resign after a dispute over funding.

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Marketing Edinburgh is a council owned company which promotes Edinburgh on a local, national and international level as a world-class destination to live, study, work, visit and invest. The organisation was set up in 2011 by City of Edinburgh Council. However, the future of Marketing Edinburgh is under threat after all of its board members resigned when their funding strategy, which required public funds, was rejected.

This is not the first time that disputes of this nature have occurred. Last year when the organisation was headed by John Donnelly, Marketing Edinburgh's fundings saw a cut of 300, 000. Mr Donnelly was outspoken in his criticism of this cut and also of proposals to strip the organisation almost completely of its government funding over the coming two years, with the objective of achieving self-sufficiency by April 2020. Only two months after these cuts, John Donnelly resigned, warning that Edinburgh would be left vulnerable to economic decline.

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This time even stronger action has been taken by Marketing Edinburgh; all members of its board have resigned, with chairman Gordon Robertson stating in a letter to Councillor Kate Campbell (the council's convener of housing, homelessness and fair work) that the proposed plan is "the only plan the board feels would meet the needs of the city" and the only viable option is to resign with "immediate effect," in order to allow the council to "appoint directors that share the council's view and plan."

The 16 members of staff that are employed by Marketing Edinburgh are now at risk of losing their jobs. However, Mr Robertson has praised the 16 team members, urging the council to re-deploy them.

This is an uncertain time for Marketing Edinburgh; a company without a board, without funding and with no clear direction of where it is heading.

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