A SCOTLAND Office minister has said cash from the UK Government for the Edinburgh Fringe is set to be splashed on a new headquarters building for the festival.

During a visit to the Tartan Week celebrations in New York, Tory MP John Lamont told the Edinburgh Reporter the £8.6 million windfall included in the Budget announcement for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society will be spent on new premises.

Lamont claimed this is “what the Fringe applied for”.

In a statement last month, the Fringe society said the cash could only be spent on capital and said it was specifically for a “new Fringe creative community hub” in Edinburgh.

However, in a separate earlier tweet, the society said it was not “moving into plush new offices”.

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Asked what the money was for Lamont said: “The Fringe and the festival in Edinburgh are iconic for not just Scotland but the whole of the UK and I was delighted when the UK Government was able to give £8.6 million into the Fringe to help them develop new premises.

“What they [the Fringe society] applied for was money to help them develop new headquarters to accommodate all their staff and its just a recognition of the importance of the Fringe not just to Edinburgh and Scotland but the whole of the UK.”

Entertainers have already blasted plans for the building, which some have called "unnecessary".

Fringe performers have long complained of the costs involved in taking part with comedians and theatre makers sometimes racking up debts for the exposure it can provide.

After the “community hub” plans were announced, comic Janey Godley tweeted: “Great, just what the Edinburgh Fringe needs - new offices.

“As a regular Fringe performer, I can count on one hand the times I used the Fringe office – we have to pay £300 odd to get listed in a brochure and social media has even made that obsolete – what a carry-on.”

It was the UK Government’s first visit to the American event in more than a decade and comes amid fury over James Cleverly’s attempts to limit Scottish diplomacy.

He has asked UK ambassadors to make sure SNP ministers are accompanied by a UK Government official during meetings with foreign counterparts.

Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross was also spotted enjoying the 25th anniversary of Tartan Week on Friday after previously criticising SNP overseas trips.