Scottish government to cut culture budget - Museums Association

Scottish government to cut culture budget

Funding for national collections and local councils will fall
Funding for Scottish museums will be reduced, it was revealed in the budget announced last week by Scottish finance secretary John Swinney.

The cultural collections budget, which includes funding for Scotland’s national museums and galleries, will fall by 8.5%, from £85.9m in 2015-16 to £78.6m in 2016-17.

A spokeswoman for National Museums Scotland said that the Scottish government had confirmed a 1% cut to the organisation’s funding, adding: “We recognise the challenges which the current financial climate creates for government, and we are pleased that the Scottish government clearly recognises the far-reaching contribution made by museums and galleries to our society.”

The draft budget also announced that the government will “provide continued support in the region of £4m for non-national museums, galleries and libraries”.

Joanne Orr, the chief executive of Museums Galleries Scotland, the development body for museums in Scotland, told Museums Journal that the organisation's income from government grants had been cut by about 4%, but this was within the scope of what had been budgeted for. "It is a cut and we will have to work out how we manage that," said Orr.

Overall, Scotland's culture budget will fall by 10.9%, from £170.2m in 2015-16 to £151.6m in 2016-17.

Scottish local museums are also likely to come under pressure as revenue spending for local councils was cut by 3.5% for 2016-17. In a statement, the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities said the cut was “catastrophic for jobs and services within Scottish Local Government” and that it could cost 15,000 council jobs.

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