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Scotland receives £45M present from Hogmanay revellers

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Hogmanay revellers have handed Scotland a £45million New Year present.

Street parties in Edinburgh and Glasgow attracted 85,000 people from home and abroad.

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Hogmanay revellers have handed Scotland a £45million New Year present.

Street parties in Edinburgh and Glasgow attracted 85,000 people from home and abroad.

And the capital’s world-famous knees-up is expected to generate £30million, while Glasgow’s bash in George Square is thought to have brought in £10million for local businesses.

Tourism to other towns and cities across Scotland is expected to add at least a further £5million to the nation’s economy.

It was a night of joy and relief for Hogmanay party organisers, who had feared the worst winter in 45 years would ruin their plans.

Ticket sales slumped in December as the big freeze hit.

But the weather relented in time, with temperatures of 6.8C in Edinburgh and 6.9C in Glasgow on Hogmanay.

By far the biggest event of the night was in Edinburgh where 80,000 partied as 2010 came to an end.

And tourism in the capital was up by 20 per cent on the same week in 2009.

VisitScotland’s busiest information centre, on Princes Street, had around 6000 visitors, with staff reporting an increase in arrivals from China, India, Germany and England.

Many of the tourists joined the Hogmanay crowds at the Street Party, Concert in the Gardens and The Keilidh.

Biffy Clyro, The Charlatans and Billy Bragg played the Concert in the Gardens, while stars including Kaiser Chiefs and The Coral entertained on four stages along Princes Street.

And at midnight, the crowds were treated to a spectacular fireworks display.

Police reported just one arrest – for minor disorder.

The massive post-party clean-up also ran smoothly, with 45 workers collecting 75 tons of rubbish between 2am and 5am.

And Edinburgh was spotless yesterday as the party continued with the One Day Resolution concert, headlined by KT Tunstall.

The singer wowed the massive crowd, even if she stumbled over the lyrics to Other Side of the World.

Red-faced KT admitted to fans: “I’ve forgotten the words!” Edinburgh’s Hogmanay organiser Pete Irvine couldn’t hide his delight at how it all went.

He said: “This is unquestionably one of the best Street Parties we’ve had. The weather was kind, and we’ve welcomed tens of thousands of goodnatured revellers from around the world to the home of Hogmanay.”

Edinburgh city councillor Steve Cardownie added: “Yet again, our inspiring capital has shown the world how to party.” The council contributed £1.042million of the event’s £2.32million budget.

Glasgow’s Hogmanay bosses were also celebrating after a last-minute rush of revellers to George Square.

A spokesman for organisers Glasgow Life said the better weather had helped bring out the punters. He added: “We’re delighted that all 5000 tickets were snapped up.”

Hotel chiefs in the city were also giving thanks for the thaw. Eighty-five per cent of Glasgow’s hotel rooms were filled on Hogmanay, compared to just 50 per cent on December 27.

Scott Taylor, chief executive of Glasgow City Marketing Bureau, admitted: “We were in a panic three days before Hogmanay.

“But as soon as people saw the favourable forecast, they decided to come in their thousands.”

Elsewhere in Scotland, the Loch Ness Hogmanay Festival and the Red Hot Highland Fling in Inverness also drew record crowds.

Stonehaven’s traditional fireballs ceremony was over-subscribed, partygoers in Aberdeen enjoyed a fireworks display, and X Factor star Wagner sang at Stirling Castle.

VisitScotland chief executive Malcolm Roughead said: “Scotland has shown yet again that it is the best place to be for New Year.”

Tot is born 30 seconds after Bells

New mum Jennifer Britton welcomed son Jacob – Scotland’s first baby of 2011.

The New Year was just 30 seconds old when Jacob arrived at Wishaw General Hospital in Lanarkshire, weighing 7lb 13oz.

Dad Scott, 38, said: “It didn’t dawn on me what day it was until I heard the nurses shouting Happy New Year.”

Delighted Jennifer, 32, of Wishaw, added: “I can’t wait to get to my dad’s this afternoon for New Year’s dinner. I’m looking forward to some steak pie.”

Glasgow’s first New Year baby, Amber Jane Moss, was born at 12.11am at the Princess Royal Maternity. Edinburgh’s earliest 2011 arrival, a boy, didn’t make his entrance until 10.30am at the city’s Royal Infirmary.

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Editor in chief is Linda Hohnholz.