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Artists and organisations are at risk from a 'perfect storm' of economic pressures.

  • Up to a third of Creative Scotland’s Regularly Funded Organisations are at serious risk of insolvency in the short term, and over half are financially weak (requiring redundancies or other cost savings).
  • 900 jobs and more than 12,000 freelance opportunities are at immediate risk.
  • Almost a decade of standstill investment in many parts of the Culture Portfolio has meant a deepening real-terms cut. Approximately 31% of the value of the Government’s investment in arts organisations has disappeared since 2015-16.

Without a meaningful budget increase now, access to the arts will be gravely harmed.

  • Creative Scotland’s current budget for Regularly Funded Organisations meets only a third of the demand. They must decide on a new three-year funding plan by February 2024 so it’s crucial to increase their budget now – waiting until next year will be too late.
  • Over half of charitable trusts delivering public leisure and culture services say they will be unsustainable within two years without intervention now.
  • 1 million Scots participate in local creative groups that need the infrastructure of support organisations.

Increased Scottish Government investment in the arts would deliver significant economic and social returns.

  • Creative Scotland’s 119 Regularly Funded Organisations (RFOs) directly employ 5,000 workers, support 25,500 individual artists and provide millions of opportunities for people across Scotland to engage with the arts and culture.

  • 84% of Scots agree that there should be public funding of arts and cultural activities in Scotland.

  • The culture budget is currently only 0.5% of Scottish Government spending.


Please ask your MSPs to stop cuts to Creative Scotland in the Scottish Budget.

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The arts and culture are central to the lives of people in Scotland.

These cuts pose an existential risk to the future of Scotland’s arts and culture.

  • Creative Scotland could be forced to reduce the number of regularly-funded organisations by 50%, risking around 2,500 jobs.((Scottish Parliament))
  • The size, shape, diversity and reach of Regularly Funded Organisations would reduce enormously.((Scottish Parliament))
  • These cuts would impede and reduce culture’s capacity to deliver for Scottish Government priorities around health and wellbeing. Policies in development, such as social prescribing, will rely on nationwide expertise and infrastructure for their implementation. ((SCA))
  • The arts contribute to an exceptional range of different outcomes beyond the essential cultural value they bring. These include: the economy, community-building, place-making and regeneration, health and wellbeing, tourism, Scotland’s national and international reputation, and a more environmentally sustainable Scotland.
  • These cuts would seriously impede the cultural sector’s ability to rebuild and survive long-term underinvestment and the effects of the COVID pandemic and cost-of-living crisis.((Scottish Theatre))

Artists and organisations are already at risk from a 'perfect storm' of economic pressures.

  • Up to a third of Regularly Funded Organisations are already at risk due to the impacts of the pandemic, cost-of-living crisis and soaring inflation, which has diminished their funding by up to 30% in real terms.
  • Scotland’s cultural sector was one of the hardest-hit sectors during the pandemic. For many, incomes have fallen and reserves have dried up.
  • Costs are rising and uncertainty is rife. This is not the time to cut vital, core funding on which artists and organisations depend.
  • Economic pressures have already led to the permanent closure of the Filmhouse cinemas in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, the Blue Arrow Jazz Club in Glasgow and the Nevis Ensemble, which worked across the country. We cannot afford to lose any more arts organisations – or the benefits they bring to our lives, communities and society.

Making this cut runs contrary to commitments to the arts and culture made by the SNP at the 2021 election.

The SNP said in their 2021 manifesto((SNP Manifesto)):

  • “Culture is central to who we are as a nation. In government the SNP has always valued culture and creativity, but the pandemic has demonstrated more than ever how vital it is to our wellbeing, mental health and sense of belonging as well as to our economy and society.”
  • “We want to create a more sustainable funding model for culture which benefits organisations and freelancers.”
  • “We will agree 3 year funding settlements for Scottish Government core funded cultural organisations.”

Arts and cultural organisations supported by the Scottish Government underpin a much wider ecosystem.

  • Creative Scotland’s 120 Regularly Funded Organisations (RFOs) directly employ 5,000 workers, support 25,500 individual artists and provide millions of opportunities for people across Scotland to engage with the arts and culture.((Scottish Parliament))
  • The most recent data from the UK department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport show that there are currently 136,000 creative industry and culture sector jobs in Scotland, accounting for 5.7% of total jobs in Scotland. These support many thousands more in the wider economy.((DCMS Sector Economic Estimates))
  • Before the pandemic hit, the creative industries alone were credited with supporting around £9bn of activity within the wider Scottish economy and contributed around £5.5bn to Scottish Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in basic prices. This represents about 4% of total Scottish GDP. It is one of the fastest-growing sectors in Scotland, with its contribution to the economy (GVA) having grown 62% between 2008 and 2017.((Scottish Government))
  • In March 2020 there were 15,730 registered enterprises operating in the creative industries, making up 8.8% of all registered business in Scotland.((Scottish Household Survey))

Every signature makes a difference. Please sign our petition, then share it far and wide to keep the momentum going.

Speak up for the difference arts and culture makes – for you, your community and Scotland. Every story helps to makes our case stronger.


Campaign for the Arts
8 Lee Street
E8 4DY