The UK Film Council has announced $3.78m (£1.88m)in funding over three years to the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

The Lottery funding, coming via the UKFC's Film Festival Strategy, will run until 2010.

The groups said the funding will support growth for public audiences as well as industry professionals from the UK and abroad.

This year, EIFF moves from its traditional slot in August (during Edinburgh's busy festival season) to a quieter time in the Scottish capitol, June 18-29. The 2008 programme will launch May 7.

The festival said it would also use funding to grow in areas of education, training and industry networking.

'The UKFC's Film Festival Strategy has recognised EIFF's national and international significance and our potential to grow,' said EIFF artistic director Hannah McGill. 'This support will enable our development, and our ability to make a bigger impact in the UK, Europe and beyond.'

EIFF managing director Ginnie Atkinson added: '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. '

The EIFF was started in 1947.

More to follow.