Massive boost for Scottish arts

Creative Scotland gets 20% increase: culture funding up by 10%

A crisis in Scottish arts has been averted as ministers in Edinburgjh agreed a 20% boost to Creative Scotland’s budget.

Proposals announced by Scottish finance secretary Derek Mackay will include a 10% increase in overall cultural investment taking the total up to £166.8 million from next year.

Creative Scotland’s discretionary Grant in Aid budget for 2018-19 will rise to £38.9m, a 21.2 per cent increase on 2017-18, which includes an additional £6.6m to support 119 Regularly Funded Organisations.

The Scottish Government also announced plans to increase support for the film and TV sector by an extra £10 million and creating a dedicated screen unit within Creative Scotland.

The move follows fears that continuing austerity and the fall in National Lottery funding would mean massive cuts in culture spending. More than 100 arts organisations wrote to ministers to call on them to avoid ‘devastating’ cuts.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Against the backdrop of the UK Government’s austerity regime, I am pleased that we were able to increase our support for Scotland’s culture sector to ensure it can continue to thrive.”

Janet Archer, Creative Scotland’s Chief Executive, welcomed the news of the extra garnt, including the additional £6.6m to support Regularly Funded Organisations. “The increase in culture spending set out in this draft budget underlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to the pivotal role that culture and creativity plays in people’s lives across Scotland and the cultural, social and economic value delivered through creative endeavour. This is particularly welcome in the context of declining income from the National Lottery.”

She also welcomed the Scottish Government’s commitment to a three-year budget. The Creative Scotland Board will meet on 18 January to set its own draft budget for 2018/19 and finalise decisions on Regular Funding 2018-21.

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