Local museums could benefit from Scottish budget

Patrick Steel, 06.02.2018
Councils to receive an additional £159.5m from the Scottish government
The Scottish government has agreed additional revenue funding for local authorities of £159.5m over two years from 2017-19, which could benefit local museums.

The real-terms increase in the budget, agreed between the Scottish National Party and the Scottish Green Party, was announced last week.

The government’s finance secretary, Derek Mackay, said: “We are lifting the pay cap with a real-terms increase in pay for the majority of public sector workers and we are supporting local services with a real-terms increase for day to day spending and for long term investment, with an additional £170m going into local services, on top of the £10.5bn already proposed.”

Following the agreement, Stirling Council announced it would withdraw its proposal to cut its £242,000 funding to the Smith Art Gallery and Museum by 2021-22. The council received an additional £2.8m.

In Dundee, where the V&A Museum of Design is due to open in September, the city council will receive an additional £4.4m.

And in Edinburgh, where the council is reviewing its museums’ opening hours after it was revealed that visitor numbers to its museums had fallen by 21% since it reduced the service to five days a week, the council will receive £12.4m in additional funding.

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