THE torchlight procession which kicks off Edinburgh’s world-famous Hogmanay celebrations has been cancelled, it has been confirmed.

The spectacle would normally draw crowds of thousands but funding difficulties has meant the “river of fire” which ordinarily runs through the capital’s streets has been paused this year.

Edinburgh city council said they hoped the event would return this year adding that the local authority shared the “disappointment” the procession would not be on to see out 2022.

However, the traditional street party – cancelled for the last two years because of the pandemic – will go ahead as normal and will feature pop legends Pet Shop Boys while Murder on the Dancefloor singer Sophie Ellis-Bextor will appear at a disco in Princes Street Gardens, the local authority said.

Council leader Cammy Day said: “Whilst I share the disappointment with many that we won’t see the return of the Torchlight Procession this year, Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will still be the best place to welcome 2023.

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“So far Unique and Assembly have announced an exciting Night Afore Disco Party with Sophie Ellis-Bextor, the return of the best street party in the world with Pet Shop Boys headlining the Party in the Gardens and have topped it off with an inaugural New Year’s Day ‘Final Fling’ showcase.

“Next week will see the full programme packed with events and activities for all the family announced. 

“This is a new chapter for Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebration as we continue to build back following the pandemic.

“Whilst I’m sure many will be disappointed that the Torchlight Procession hasn’t returned straightaway we look forward to seeing it back next year, better than ever.”

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Unique Events and Assembly, the firms which put on the torchlit parade have said they did not have enough money to put on the show this year.

In a statement, directors of the firms said: "We have been trying hard to find a way to bring the torchlight procession into Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations this year, however we are very disappointed to confirm that due to the current economic climate, and the drop in available funding, we are unable to go ahead with this event in 2022. 

"Our full programme of events, including activities for families and children, over the three days of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay will be announced later this week. 

"We very much hope to bring back the torchlight procession to the Edinburgh’s Hogmanay programme in 2023.”