UNDERBELLY is set to lose the contracts to run Edinburgh’s Hogmanay and Christmas festivities.

The contracts are due to be handed to two separate firms after a wide-ranging survey of residents of Scotland’s capital found strong support for the events to continue – as long as they were overhauled.

Unique Events, which founded Edinburgh’s official Hogmanay celebrations in 1993, seems certain to win the £4 million contract back.

Having last run the new year festivities in 2016, the firm linked up with Fringe promoters Assembly Festival to mount a new bid.

The proposed contract, which will run for an initial three years with possible extensions of another two, is worth £4,062,280.

READ MORE: Edinburgh Hogmanay street party could be dropped

Separately, Underbelly is also due to lose out on the contract for Edinburgh’s six-week Christmas celebrations, with Surrey-based Angels Event Experience Limited chosen in its place.

The English firm currently runs the annual Christmas market in London’s Hyde Park, the largest of its kind in Europe.

Angels Event Experience Limited is expected to pay Edinburgh Council £5,473,500 for the right to run Christmas events.

The overhauled events are hoping to do more for local businesses, spread the events more evenly across the capital, and clamp down on drinking and overcrowding.

Unique directors Alan Thomson and Penny Dougherty said: “We’re very pleased to have been named, along with our partners Assembly Festival, as the successful bid to produce Edinburgh’s Hogmanay for the city, and now await approval of the decision at committee later this week, before entering into more detailed dialogue with the council.

“Edinburgh’s Hogmanay places our capital city on the world stage for new year celebrations, and as local event producers we relish the opportunity to once again work with the people of Edinburgh to re-invigorate the events programme and take the festival forward in the coming years.”

Edinburgh Council began the search for organisers in March, when it was still controlled by an SNP minority administration.

After the May elections, Labour struck a deal with the Tories and LibDems to take control of the 63-seat council – despite having just 13 councillors.

Edinburgh Council’s new Labour leader Cammy Day said: “Through our city-wide conversation with residents, businesses and stakeholders, it was clear there was overwhelming support for the continuation of Christmas and Hogmanay celebrations, but with a revised format.

"Contract notices for both festivals were published seeking suitable tenders.

"Following this process, two preferred tenders were identified which have been recommended to councillors for their approval.

“If agreed, we’re looking forward to delivering great winter festivals for the people of Edinburgh and our visitors – very much in the spirit of their feedback received in our recent consultation.

"We want to continue to provide inclusive, high-quality festive celebrations, further enhance the city’s reputation and allow the benefits to be shared across our town centres and communities.”