The Edinburgh Briefing

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The Show

Get the insider's account of Edinburgh's news beat from Conor Matchett and the team at the Edinburgh Evening News. Every week we will delve into the issues that you've been talking about, whether it's a controversial council decision or a major new venue. We'll also answer your burning questions about life in the Scottish capital.

15 Episodes

The Times Square of Edinburgh

Festival square in Edinburgh has always been noticeably redundant. But new plans have been announced to build a cinema complex in a 121 ft building. This week Conor Matchett is joined by Edinburgh Evening news reporter Caitlin Dewar and The Scotsman Arts Correspondent Brian Ferguson to discuss the 'Times square of Edinburgh'.

13 Mar


Why the Forth Bridge is so iconic

It's a symbol of Scottish innovation, but one that we often take for granted as we travel across it on the train. This week, host Conor Matchett quizzes Edinburgh Evening News reporter Elsa Maishman about her "favourite topic", the Forth Bridge. To mark its 130 year anniversary they look at some amazing facts and figures, discuss the human cost of its construction, and look ahead to the proposed Forth Bridge Experience. But let's not forget the Forth Road Bridge and Queensferry Crossing, and how they impact the towns of North and South Queensferry. Being an adopted Fifer, Elsa discusses the playful rivalry between the towns.

06 Mar


Does Edinburgh have too many hotels?

You won't be short for a place to stay in Edinburgh with hotels and Airbnbs on the rise. A report from the council estimated there were 61 new hotels in the construction pipeline, representing 6,338 rooms. But what does this mean for the city and its residents? Host Conor Matchett and Edinburgh Evening News Reporter Elsa Maishman discuss how this rise in tourist accommodation is affecting the capital and of course the over-tourism debate that is rumbling on.

21 Feb


Edinburgh's Christmas Market scandal unwrapped

What went on between events company Underbelly and Edinburgh City Council in the run-up to the Christmas market and Hogmanay fiasco? After breaking the story of heated exchanges between Underbelly and the council in a tranche of emails released under Freedom of Information laws, host Conor Matchett is joined by The Scotsman's arts correspondent Brian Ferguson to discuss the so-called 'Christmas files'.

14 Feb


A continental vision for Princes Street

Have you wondered how and why Princes Street is changing, and what the future holds for the famous thoroughfare? Host Conor Matchett is joined by Edinburgh Evening News reporter Elsa Maishman to talk about the changing face of Princes Street. Elsa discusses her annual audit of Princes Street, revealing that 6% of the high street is 'tartan tat' and more cafes and bars will open to align with council plans. They also discuss the W Hotel and how it resembles a 'walnut whip.'

07 Feb


The battle to keep Edinburgh building

Do you want to influence how Edinburgh might look in 10 years? That's the subject of this week's show. Conor is joined in the studio by Neil Gardiner, planning convenor and SNP councillor, and Jo Mowat, Conservative councillor and planning spokesperson, to discuss the issues that coincide with the city mobility plan. The guests debate how carbon neutrality will be at the heart of the plans, and how Leith and Granton will be prime areas for housing developments. Conor also takes the opportunity to ask Neil what went wrong with the planning permission for the Edinburgh Christmas Market.

31 Jan


The future of transport in Edinburgh - with Lesley Macinnes

Edinburgh City Council has just published its 10 year vision for mobility and transport in the capital, with headline-grabbing proposals like extending the tram network, improving public transport and pedestrianising George Street. But without any firm details on costing and funding, how realistic is the strategy? This week Conor Matchett is joined by Lesley Macinnes, the council's Transport and Environment Convener, and David Bol, Edinburgh Evening News Local Democracy Reporter, to discuss the plans and the reaction to them.

17 Jan


Is Edinburgh's Hogmanay a victim of its own success?

Underbelly, the company that operates Edinburgh's Hogmanay festivities (as well as the Christmas Market and multiple Fringe venues), has been subject to a barrage of criticism this year, with some claiming that the NYE party has become too large and too commercial. This week Conor is joined by Scotsman arts correspondent Brian Ferguson, and the Edinburgh Evening News what's on reporter Caitlyn Dewar, to discuss whether the controversy is justified.

10 Jan


A look back at Edinburgh's biggest stories in 2019

Happy New Year to all of our listeners! To kick off 2020 we take a look back at 2019 and the Edinburgh stories that stood out over the past 12 months. Host Conor Matchett chats to Euan McGrory, editor of the Edinburgh Evening News, and digital editor Joe Cawthorn about their most memorable Edinburgh stories from 2019. They also pick through the most popular stories from the website, and discover that a surprising number are heart-warming rather than negative.

03 Jan


Boxing Day special: the future of Scottish politics

This boxing day we have a great panel of guests, as Conor is joined by Labour MSP Daniel Johnson, Conservative councillor John McLellan and former SNP leader in the House of Commons Angus Robertson. They discuss the future for Scotland, Boris Johnson in Downing Street, and whether the SNP now has a mandate for another indyref.

26 Dec


The Election Reflection

The dust has settled on one of the most unpredictable elections in living memory. But what does it mean from an Edinburgh and Scottish perspective? Conor Matchett is joined by Ian Swanson, political editor of the Edinburgh Evening News, and The Scotsman's deputy political editor Gina Davidson, to dissect the results. We also hear the word on the street about what Edinburgh voters thought of it all.

18 Dec


'The unpopularity contest' - Election Special

There's an election imminent, in case you hadn't noticed. But is it worth staying up late for? Is it going to change anything? And what's the situation in Edinburgh and the Lothians? The Edinburgh Briefing team talk you through the candidates and the issues facing voters as they head to the polls. Host Conor Matchett is joined by The Scotsman’s Westminster correspondent Paris Gourtsoyannis, the Evening News’ disabilities and equalities reporter Shona Elliott and local democracy reporter David Bol to dissect and examine the chances of each party in Edinburgh.

11 Dec


Is Edinburgh finally getting the music arena it deserves?

This week, host Conor Matchett is joined by Brian Ferguson, arts correspondent for The Scotsman, Edinburgh Evening News whats-on reporter Caitlyn Dewar and editor Euan McGrory. They discuss the proposal for the 8,000 capacity arena at Straiton and consider whether it’s the right location, the current music offering in the city and the chances of it going ahead.

06 Dec


What next for Jenners and Princes Street?

In the first episode of the Edinburgh Briefing, host Conor Matchett chats to Edinburgh Evening News editor Euan McGrory about how they broke the story of Jenners quitting Princes Street. They also ponder what the proposed move could mean for the future of the city centre, and why Jenners lives up to the “Edinburgh institution” label. We also hear from political reporter Ian Swanson about plans to scrap free travel on the city’s trams for over-60s, and we hop on a tram to find out what passengers think.

29 Nov


The Edinburgh Briefing - Trailer

Get the insider’s account of Edinburgh's news beat from Conor Matchett and the team at the Edinburgh Evening News. Every week we will delve into the issues that you've been talking about, whether it’s a controversial council decision or a major new venue. We'll also answer your burning questions about life in the Scottish capital. Hit subscribe now!

14 Nov