Petition launched against reimposed 10% cut to Creative Scotland - Museums Association

Petition launched against reimposed 10% cut to Creative Scotland

Campaigners warn that thousands of jobs are at risk after £6.6m cut was brought back
Artists Cuts
The Pier Arts Centre in Orkney is one of 119 organisations that receive regular funding from Creative Scotland
The Pier Arts Centre in Orkney is one of 119 organisations that receive regular funding from Creative Scotland Reaich And Hall Architects

Arts campaigners are calling on the Scottish Government to abandon a reimposed £6.6m cut to the arts funding body Creative Scotland.

The government confirmed in its autumn budget revision last month that the 10% cut for 2023-24 would be reintroduced. The proposed cut was dropped earlier this year after a campaign by the Scottish arts sector.

Creative Scotland provides regular funding to 119 arts organisations, including the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA) in Glasgow, the Collective in Edinburgh, the Pier Arts Centre in Orkney and the Taigh Chearsabhagh Trust in North Uist. It also offers individual and programme funding for arts projects.

Creative Scotland CEO Ian Munro told Holyrood in September that reimposing the cut, just before regularly funded organisations were due to receive their quarterly payments, would have seen their funding reduced by up to 40%. He described the cut as a tipping point for “an already fragile sector”.

The mid-year reduction forced Creative Scotland to raid its £17m National Lottery funding reserves in order to continue supporting regularly funded organisations – funding that was intended to provide a safety net for organisations that had failed to secure regular funding.

The Campaign for the Arts has launched a petition calling on the Scottish Government to reinstate the funding.

Advertisement

The petition states: “This extraordinary short-changing of Scottish culture midway through the year has forced Creative Scotland to raid its limited reserves as a one-off, emergency measure. Otherwise, regularly funded arts organisations in Scotland would have seen their funding cut by as much as 40% as soon as next month.

“This is absolutely no way to treat Scotland’s arts and culture, let alone in a perfect storm of economic pressures and post-pandemic challenges. This ‘U-turn on a U-turn’ puts treasured venues and companies, thousands of jobs and access to Scottish culture at risk.”

The petition urges the culture secretary Angus Robertson to honour the Scottish Government’s commitment in February to provide “an uplift of £6.6 million for Creative Scotland for 2023-24”; scrap any proposal to cut Creative Scotland funding from the 2023-24 Autumn Budget Revision; and commit to maintaining and growing investment in arts and culture from 2024-25, for the benefit of everybody in Scotland.

The Scottish government has said that the funding will resume next year.

Robertson said: "Over the past five years, the Scottish Government has provided £33m to Creative Scotland to compensate for a shortfall in National Lottery Funding and we agreed to provide £6.6m to cover this year's shortfall.

"As a result of rising costs and pressure on budgets across government, made more challenging as a result of rising UK inflation, we are unable to provide funding to support the lottery shortfall this year.

"However, I expect this funding will be able to be provided as part of next year's budget, subject to the usual parliamentary process."

Leave a comment

You must be to post a comment.

Discover

Advertisement