The UK Film Council is to make £1.88m available to the Edinburgh International Film Festival over the next three years.
The announcement was made at a press conference at Edinburgh Filmhouose, hosted by UKFC CEO John Woodward, EIFF Chair John McCormick, Artistic Director Hannah McGill and Managing Director Ginnie Atkinson.
The Lottery funding is part of the UK Film Council’s Film Festival Strategy to support UK film festivals.
The funding will support the EIFF growth plan for public audiences and industry professionals alike, on a national and international level. It will permit the Festival to continue and extend its commitment to identifying, nurturing, showcasing and promoting new films and talent.
EIFF Artistic Director Hannah McGill said: "The UKFC’s Film Festival Strategy has recognised EIFF’s national and international significance and our potential to grow.
"This support will enable our development, and our ability to make a bigger impact in the UK, Europe and beyond."
The funding will support the strategic move of the EIFF dates from August to June 18 to 29 in 2008.
The funding will form an integral part of the Festival’s future, aiding growth in the areas of education, training and industry networking, whilst also allowing public audiences to see an ever wider range of films.
EIFF Managing Director Ginnie Atkinson said: "The Edinburgh International Film Festival is delighted to receive the grant as the first UK film festival to benefit from the Fund.
"It is a significant strategic investment and one that will benefit both our major constituencies - the public audience and the film industry.
"The funding is attached to specific activities planned to make EIFF even more effective as a meeting place in the broadest sense of the word; a place where culture, ideas and business can be progressed – and in the unique setting of one of the world’s most amazing cities."
Chair of EIFF John McCormick said: "The Board of the Edinburgh International Film Festival is delighted at this news. The funding is not only a valuable investment in the Festival's development - enabling us to grow, to have a bigger impact and to make our mark in June - but also signifies recognition of the EIFF's importance for the UK."
2008 EIFF Programme will be launched on May 7 - watch this space for details.