We want Edinburgh City Centre to be seen as the ultimate destination for a full and rewarding experience for anyone visiting the area.


We want Edinburgh City Centre to be seen as the ultimate destination for a full and rewarding experience for anyone working in or visiting the area, whether on business or for pleasure or both.

“Sign of a Great Time” Marketing campaign

Building on the success of our “This is Edinburgh” campaign, we have double our investment committing over £1m to a marketing campaign that’s entirely designed to benefit our area – the city centre – with dedicated PR support raising the profile of our businesses and firmly establishing the BID as Edinburgh’s city centre .

Sign of a great Time is a sustainable, evolving marketing campaign to run for up to five years.  It launched on the 8th October 2018 using bus, tram, train, kiosk, radio and on-street activity to encourage regular city centre visits from locals.


The Edinburgh Gift Card

In partnership with Miconex, Essential Edinburgh has launched a gift card for the city centre. All levy paying businesses can register for free to accept the gift card, no additional technology or till alterations are required as it is a prepaid Mastercard.

The Edinburgh Gift Card is purchased through a dedicated website and can be used in over 70 great city centre businesses, including shops, eateries, bars, clubs, hotels and hairdressers. When you can’t decide what to buy, it makes a great gift for friends and family and any occasion.

Want to register your business?

Provided you are a levy paying business you can register for free to accept the Edinburgh Gift Card.

Business Registration



Essential Edinburgh operates an annual events programme to encourage locals to visit the city centre more often and stay for longer. These events include the multi-award winning weekly Edinburgh Farmers’ Market and our hugely popular Film Fest in the City in St Andrew Square Garden.

Partnership events and festival activity

Street of Light, Georgian Shadows, 101 Objects, Red Red Rose Street, Book Festival on George Street and the visually stunning Bloom… we’ve worked with key partners to deliver exceptional events that bring people in and generate spend for our levy paying businesses.

Silent Light

We are continuing this successful partnership approach, which has delivered massive footfall into our area, with Silent Light; a combination of “Street of Light” our award winning partnership with Underbelly, and a Silent Disco with Silent Adventures! Part of Edinburgh’s Christmas celebration, this unique attraction to the west end of George Street will help spread the Christmas footfall from St Andrew Square in the east towards Charlotte Square in the west.

Burns & Beyond

Hot on the heels of the successful Red, Red Rose Street, we have partnered once again with Unique Events to bring an expanded celebration of our national Bard – Rabbie Burns.

Burns & Beyond takes place from Tuesday 22nd to Sunday 27th January 2019 – Find out more

Area Promotion project images