Earlier today (26th March), the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society announced that Benny Higgins has been named as the new Chair of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society Board of Directors.

Benny has extensive experience in the financial sector. Most recently, he was the inaugural CEO of Tesco Bank, a position he held until February 2018. In 2017, he was made Strategic Adviser to the First Minister on the building of the Scottish National Investment Bank. He has also worked as Chief Executive of Retail Banking at RBS, and Chief Executive, Retail, HBOS.

His non-executive portfolio is wide-reaching. Amongst other responsibilities, he is Chairman of the National Galleries of Scotland, a Trustee for the Edinburgh International Culture Summit, Chairman, The Fine Art Society (London and Edinburgh), Chairman of Sistema Scotland and Trustee of Burrell Renaissance. More details on Benny’s achievements and career can be found below.

Benny will take up his position at the Fringe Society with immediate effect. He succeeds Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, who served two full terms as Chair. Tim’s tenure was recently extended to March 2021, due to exceptional circumstances brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

Benny Higgins – The new Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society Chair

Speaking about the appointment, Benny Higgins said: “I am delighted to be appointed Chair of the Fringe Society. The Edinburgh Fringe is an essential component of Scotland’s cultural heritage, and now more than ever, we need to celebrate and invest in this vibrant, inclusive and accessible festival. As we rebuild our future together after this extraordinarily difficult time, I know that the Fringe will have an essential role to play in the country’s economic, social and cultural recovery.

“I look forward to working with Shona McCarthy and her team to help the Fringe re-emerge as the best version of itself, and to help ensure that the festival and the Fringe Society is robust, resilient and ready for new challenges and opportunities in the future.”

Fiona Davis, Vice Chair of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society board, added: “We are living in extraordinary times, and undeniably, the pandemic has had a devastating impact on the Fringe Society, the Fringe and the wider arts sector. As we move forward, the Fringe Society’s priority will be supporting those that make the greatest arts festival in the world happen every year, so that the Fringe and its many brilliant creatives can flourish once again.

“I am delighted to announce Benny’s appointment and am looking forward to seeing what the future holds under his leadership. I’m confident that his depth of experience in both the commercial and not-for-profit sectors, combined with his brilliant strategic vision, will help lead the Fringe Society going forward.

“As we look to the future, I’d also like to thank Tim O’Shea for his years of dedication, expertise and experience. His vision and leadership have ensured that we are ready to enter this new chapter on solid ground, and for that, we are ever indebted to him.”