Edinburgh (U.K.)

2017-04-14 15:14:11 , Source : The Government Website of Shaanxi Province

Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland and one of its 32 local government council areas. Located in Lothian on the Firth of Forth's southern shore, it is Scotland's second most populous city and the seventh most populous in the United Kingdom. The 2014 official population estimates are 464,990 for the city of Edinburgh, 492,680 for the local authority area, and 1,339,380 for the city region as of 2014 (Edinburgh lies at the heart of the proposed Edinburgh and South East Scotland city region). Recognised as the capital of Scotland since at least the 15th century, Edinburgh is home to the Scottish Parliament and the seat of the monarchy in Scotland. The city is also the annual venue of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and home to national institutions such as the National Museum of Scotland, the National Library of Scotland and the Scottish National Gallery. It is the largest financial centre in the UK after London.

Historically part of Midlothian, the city has long been a centre of education, particularly in the fields of medicine, Scots law, literature, the sciences and engineering. The University of Edinburgh, founded in 1582 and now one of four in the city, was placed 17th in the QS World University Rankings in 2013 and 2014. The city is also famous for the Edinburgh International Festival and the Fringe, the latter being the world's largest annual international arts festival. The city's historical and cultural attractions have made it the United Kingdom's second most popular tourist destination after London, attracting over one million overseas visitors each year. Historic sites in Edinburgh include Edinburgh Castle, Holyrood Palace, the churches of St. Giles, Greyfriars and the Canongate, and the extensive Georgian New Town, built in the 18th century. Edinburgh's Old Town and New Town together are listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which has been managed by Edinburgh World Heritage since 1999.

Economy

Edinburgh has the strongest economy of any city in the United Kingdom outside London and the highest percentage of professionals in the UK with 43% of the population holding a degree-level or professional qualification. According to the Centre for International Competitiveness, it is the most competitive large city in the United Kingdom. It also has the highest gross value added per employee of any city in the UK outside London, measuring £57,594 in 2010. It was named European Best Large City of the Future for Foreign Direct Investment and Best Large City for Foreign Direct Investment Strategy in the Financial Times fDi magazine awards 2012/13.

In the 19th century, Edinburgh's economy was known for banking, publishing and brewing. Today, its economy is based mainly on financial services, scientific research, higher education, and tourism. In March 2010, unemployment in Edinburgh was comparatively low at 3.6%, and it remains consistently below the Scottish average of 4.5%. Edinburgh is the 2nd most visited city by foreign visitors in the UK after London.

Banking has been a mainstay of the Edinburgh economy for over 300 years, since the Bank of Scotland (now part of the Lloyds Banking Group) was established by an act of the Scottish Parliament in 1695. Today, the financial services industry, with its particularly strong insurance and investment sectors, and underpinned by Edinburgh-based firms such as Scottish Widows and Standard Life, accounts for the city being the UK's second financial centre after London and Europe's fourth in terms of equity assets. The Royal Bank of Scotland opened new global headquarters at Gogarburn in the west of the city in October 2005, and Edinburgh is home to the headquarters of Bank of Scotland, Sainsbury's Bank, Tesco Bank, TSB Bank and Virgin Money.

Tourism is also an important element in the city's economy. As a World Heritage Site, tourists visit historical sites such as Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyroodhouse and the Old and New Towns. Their numbers are augmented in August each year during the Edinburgh Festivals, which attracts 4.4 million visitors, and generates over £100m for the local economy.

As the centre of Scotland's government and legal system, the public sector plays a central role in Edinburgh's economy. Many departments of the Scottish Government are in the city. Other major employers include NHS Scotland and local government administration.

Culture

Edinburgh festival

The city hosts the annual Edinburgh Festival, a series of events that run between the end of July and early September each year. The best known of these events are the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Edinburgh International Festival, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the Edinburgh International Book Festival.

The longest established of these festivals is the Edinburgh International Festival, which was first held in 1947 and consists mainly of a programme of high-profile theatre productions and classical music performances, featuring international directors, conductors, theatre companies and orchestras.

This has since been overtaken both in size and popularity by the Edinburgh Fringe which began as a programme of marginal acts alongside the "official" Festival and has become the world's largest performing arts festival. In 2006, 1867 different shows were staged in 261 venues across the city. Comedy has become one of the mainstays of the Fringe, with numerous well-known comedians getting their first 'break' here, often by being chosen to receive the Edinburgh Comedy Award. In 2008, the largest comedy venues "on the Fringe" launched the Edinburgh Comedy Festival as a festival within a festival.

Other festivals include the Edinburgh Mountain Film Festival which takes place in February, Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, which takes place in June, the Edinburgh Gaelic Festival, which takes place in November, the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival, and the Edinburgh International Book Festival. The Edge Festival (formerly known as T on the Fringe), a popular music offshoot of the Fringe, began in 2000, replacing the smaller Flux and Planet Pop series of shows.

The Edinburgh Military Tattoo, occupies the Castle Esplanade every night, with massed pipers and military bands drawn from around the world. Performances end with a short fireworks display. As well as the various summer festivals, the Edinburgh International Science Festival is held annually in April and is one of the largest of its kind in Europe.

Education

There are four universities in Edinburgh (including Queen Margaret University which lies just outwith the city boundary) with students making up around one-fifth of the population. Established by Royal Charter in 1583, the University of Edinburgh is one of Scotland's ancient universities and is the fourth oldest in the country after St Andrews, Glasgow and Aberdeen. Originally centred on Old College the university expanded to premises on The Mound, the Royal Mile and George Square. Today, the King's Buildings in the south of the city contain most of the schools within the College of Science and Engineering. In 2002, the medical school moved to purpose built accommodation adjacent to the new Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh at Little France. The University placed 17th in the QS World University Rankings for 2013.

Heriot-Watt University and Napier Technical College were established in the 1960s. Heriot-Watt began as the world's first Mechanics' Institute, tracing its origins to 1821 when it opened as a school for the technical education of the working classes. The former Napier College was renamed Napier Polytechnic in 1986 and gained university status in 1992. Edinburgh Napier University has campuses in the south and west of the city, including the former Merchiston Tower and Craiglockhart Hydropathic. It is home to the Screen Academy Scotland.

Queen Margaret University was located in Edinburgh before it moved to a new campus near Musselburgh in 2008. Until 2012 further education colleges in the city included Jewel and Esk College (incorporating Leith Nautical College founded in 1903), Telford College, opened in 1968, and Stevenson College, opened in 1970. These have now been amalgamated to form Edinburgh College. Scotland's Rural College also has a campus in south Edinburgh. Other institutions include the Royal College of Surgeons of Edinburgh and the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh which were established by Royal Charter in 1506 and 1681 respectively. The Trustees Drawing Academy of Edinburgh, founded in 1760, became the Edinburgh College of Art in 1907.

There are 18 nursery, 94 primary and 23 secondary schools administered by the City of Edinburgh Council. Edinburgh is home to The Royal High School, one of the oldest schools in the country and the world. The city also has several independent, fee-paying schools including Edinburgh Academy, Fettes College, George Heriot's School, George Watson's College, Merchiston Castle School, Stewart's Melville College and The Mary Erskine School. In 2009, the proportion of pupils attending independent schools was 24.2%, far above the Scottish national average of just over 7% and higher than in any other region of Scotland. In August 2013, the City of Edinburgh Council opened the city's first stand-alone Gaelic primary school, Bun-sgoil Taobh na Pàirce.