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Sir Chris Hoy to headline Sky Ride City – Edinburgh International Festival – Green Investment Bank hangs its hat in Waverley Court – City centre collision – Fringe figures down on last year

Sir Chris Hoy will join the cyclists on the Edinburgh City Sky Ride which is taking place on 8 September 2012. The Reporter went on the Sky Ride last Sunday out to Hopetoun and back which was really well organised and a lot of fun with like-minded people. We were taught a lot about cycle safety during the ride led by qualified officials.

 

A week on Saturday however the cyclists will concentrate on a circular route in the city itself including the Innocent Railway Tunnel. The roads will be closed to traffic from morning till mid-afternoon and the route is only 10km so should be a good opportunity for families as well as serious cyclists!

Here is the route and you can join in the ride by registering on the Sky Ride website.

04901v Sky Ride Map1 Edinburgh Route a4 Ldud

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That was the Fringe that was. But the Edinburgh International Festival continues till Sunday when will stop with a bang at the Virgin Money Fireworks Concert. Tonight at Festival Square there is a treat in store.

There will be a special one-off showing on the BBC Big Screen in Festival Square, Edinburgh, of films giving unique insights into the Edinburgh International Festival.

Conceived and sponsored by Standard LifeFestival backstage offers rarely seen insights into the people and stories behind the Festival. These can be enjoyed by everyone through a series of online films produced by students at Edinburgh Napier University.

Scotland’s fabulous violinist Nicola Benedetti, one of the hottest young stars in opera Sophie Bevan, and commentator Kirsty Wark are just a few of the world-leading cultural figures starring in the films.

Tonight from 7pm passers by can enjoy the films on the BBC Big Screen in Festival Square.

In other Festival backstage films David Greig enthuses about the excitement of live theatre, Fiona Hyslop talks about the Festival’s place in the cultural landscape of Scotland, and Chris Fujiwara shares his insights on the use of music from films in live theatre.

Films set to appear in the final week of the Festival include a day in life of Festival Director Jonathan Mills and a look at the Festival’s education programme when Festival 2012 sensations, the Deborah Colker Dance Company gave dance workshops in primary and secondary schools across the city.

Edinburgh International Festival Director Jonathan Mills said: ‘Each of these insightful films is just a few minutes long but the stories they tell, the inspiration and ambition they reveal are rich and in some cases epic. This is a fantastic opportunity to see them at scale and I hope even more people can enjoy these works created together with Standard Life and the talented students of Edinburgh Napier University.’

Laura Laidlaw, Sponsorship Manager, Standard Life said, ‘Festival backstage is designed to unwrap the mystique of the Festival through a collection of exclusive backstage films. These provide insight into the performances, simplifying some of the more complex art genres or production techniques. We are delighted to see the films being aired on a big screen in the heart of Edinburgh.’

Student Alan Andrew Taylor said, ‘Working on Festival backstage has been an invaluable experience. I’ve been involved with shooting a mixture of on location interviews, live opera and dance rehearsals where I also got the opportunity to travel down to London for the first time. What I’ve gained most from the experience is being able to work fast under pressure in addition to experiencing a broad range of shooting situations.’

James Blake, Director of Centre for Media and Culture at Edinburgh Napier University concluded, ‘This is a fantastic partnership with the EIF and Standard Life. The journalism and TV students have produced some really creative and innovative films on the festival this year. And it’s brilliant that the city will be able to see them on a big screen in all their glory.’

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Until they find more permanent accommodation the Green Investment Bank under the chairmanship of Lord Robert Smith will be temporarily accommodated in Waverley Court on Market Street in the Council HQ, although Scotland on Sunday reported that the permanent HQ for the new bank will be at Atria Court next to the EICC.

Council Leader Cllr Andrew Burns said: “The decision to locate the bank in Edinburgh cements our position as a major player in financial services and clean energy, both of which provide jobs and investment for the city, and it’s on that basis that the Council is supporting the bank with temporary accommodation while it’s being set up.”

Lord Robert Smith, who chairs the Green Investment Bank, said: “We’re grateful for the assistance and support we’ve received, not only from the Council but also the Chamber of Commerce, Scottish Financial Enterprise, parliamentarians and other leading figures from the community. Collectively they recognised the unique benefits of bringing the bank to Edinburgh and formed an excellent partnership that presented an compelling case for the city.”

Space for around 10 staff in the Council’s offices at Waverley Court was identified during ongoing work to make more efficient use of its properties, and the first few staff members have already taken up post in the building.

The bank still has to recruit non-executive directors and a Chief Executive.

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There was a collision yesterday afternoon in Abercromby Place between a white van and a motorcycle, and the road was closed for a time to allow the ambulance service to attend the injured parties. There is increased traffic in this area as Heriot Row, Abercromby Place and Albany Street are being used as a diversion route for traffic while tram works have closed York Place and Princes Street.

At the recent New Town Community Council meeting the council transport officials confirmed that the traffic monitoring equipment showed that traffic moves at an average speed of 23 mph along Albany Street. There were discussions at the meeting of introducing an advisory 20mph in the area by painting that speed on the road surface, although it was admitted that it would take much longer to formally introduce a new lower speed limit.

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Edinburgh International Festival Fringe has issued figures showing a slight downturn on ticket sales from last year. In 2012 an estimated 1,857,202 tickets were issued compared to 1,877,119 tickets issued in 2011.

Chief Executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society Kath M Mainland announced that the Board of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has elected Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal and Vice Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh as their new Chair to take over from Baroness Smith of Gilmorehill who stood down after 17 years in the role.

“I am delighted to be able to announce that at their meeting earlier today the Board of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society elected Sir Timothy O’Shea as the new Chair of the Society. Sir Timothy has been a long-standing supporter of the Fringe and I am sure that he will be a brilliant leader of the Society and our Board in years to come.”

Speaking about his election, Sir Timothy said:

“The University of Edinburgh has enjoyed a long, proud and happy association with the Festival Fringe and I am delighted to be more involved as the Fringe builds on its huge success and popularity.”