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Edinburgh International Book Festival announces new permanent home

The festival will take place at Edinburgh College of Art before moving to the University of Edinburgh’s Futures Institute in 2024.

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Visitors enjoy the sunshine at the book festival in Charlotte Square Gardens in 2019 (Jane Barlow/PA)

Visitors enjoy the sunshine at the book festival in Charlotte Square Gardens in 2019 (Jane Barlow/PA)

Visitors enjoy the sunshine at the book festival in Charlotte Square Gardens in 2019 (Jane Barlow/PA)

A festival claimed to be the world’s largest public celebration of the written word has found a permanent home.

The Edinburgh International Book Festival announced it will officially move to the University of Edinburgh’s Futures Institute in the former Royal Infirmary site on Lauriston Place in two years.

For 2022 and 2023, the festival will take place at the Edinburgh College of Art, before settling at its long-term home in 2024.

The university said it is transforming the landmark building into a “state-of-the-art space for future collaborations and partnerships”, with the aim to fulfil the pledge set in stone above the main entrance: “patet omnibus” – open to all.

The new site will allow us to continue building back our world-renowned programme, while putting accessibility, sustainability and innovation at the core of what we doNick Barley, Edinburgh International Book Festival

Nick Barley, director at Edinburgh International Book Festival, said: “We have been working closely with the University of Edinburgh over the past two years and are thrilled that our new, permanent home will be the Edinburgh Futures Institute from 2024, an historic building with an all-important, village green, outdoor area which is being developed for everyone to enjoy, and of which our festival city can be proud.

“It throws up extraordinary, game-changing opportunities for the book festival, but importantly – for the first time in our festival’s history – it helps us plan a number of years ahead.

“The new site will allow us to continue building back our world-renowned programme, while putting accessibility, sustainability and innovation at the core of what we do.”

Last year was the first year the book festival had moved site since its began in 1983.

Professor Peter Mathieson, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said: “We look forward to welcoming book festival-goers to Edinburgh College of Art for the next two years.”

The festival this year will run August 13-29.

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