The Forest was mentioned during Culture & External Affairs Question Time on Thursday 08 September. The exchange started following a PQ from Gordon MacDonald
(SNP, Edinburgh Pentlands):
To ask the Scottish Government how it supports the Edinburgh festivals and how it will help them to increase their international appeal. (S4O-00137)Fiona Hyslop
, the SNP Linlithgow MSP & Culture Secretary, extolled the Scottish Government's commitment to the Edinburgh festivals, having invested £8m over four years "to enable new talent and creativity to flourish."
Next, Alison Johnstone
(Greens, Lothian) then asked Ms Hyslop a supplemental constitutional question:
Is the Minister aware of the current threat to the much-loved and well-used arts venue, the Forest, in Edinburgh city centre? Would she be prepared to meet representatives of the Forest as they work to secure a long-term home?
The Culture Secretary replied thus:
The Forest Fringe hosted another eclectic programme during the August period and I understand that the venue is in the process of fundraising. I would be happy to let the Member know who it might be most appropriate for Forest representatives to meet at this stage of their fundraising efforts and if it is appropriate for me to meet them that would also be a step forward.
Marco Biagi has also raised the issue with me, but it might be helpful to find out who it would be most appropriate to meet, particularly at this early stage, which I think involves a fundraising effort.
The full exchange is available here -> http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/apps2 ... #iob_58125
Marco Biagi (SNP, Edinburgh Central) has offered to host a meeting at Holyrood, which we hope to arrange shortly. We intend to invite all the Lothian MSPs to this meeting and representatives from the Scottish Government, hopefully the Culture & Digital Directorate. As the Forest is an inclusive sort, we'll also examine whether it is possible to include Edinburgh councillors and Creative Scotland representitves in the meeting.
Meanwhile, you can help by contributing to our fundraising efforts (http://ow.ly/6lPWh
) and joining the 148 people to date who have helped us reach 16% of our total. You can also contact your MSPs and Edinburgh councillors to explain why the Forest is so important and wht they should help the cause. Remind them to dip into their pocket while they're at it. Grin.
Onwards & upwards comrades.[/color]