Creative Scotland casts doubt on Scottish Government's 'gold-plated' funding pledges

The Scotsman

11 Nov 2023

by Brian Ferguson

“Campaign for the Arts director Jack Gamble said: “Creative Scotland is not permitted to hold grant-in-aid from the Scottish Government in reserves. That’s why they have used National Lottery income, over several years, to grow a pot very specifically to support organisations who are not successful in their next funding round. There is a £6.6m dent in that pot as a result of the cut imposed by the Scottish Government this year – this cannot simply be ‘restored.’

“The Creative Scotland Board were effectively forced to use up £6.6m of their emergency reserves, because not doing so would have meant passing on a 40 per cent cut to every regularly-funded arts organisation in Scotland with only a couple of weeks’ notice.

“Creative Scotland rightly maintains reserves for an emergency, but none of us expects that emergency to be created by the Scottish Government.

“Before this year’s cut was imposed, Creative Scotland’s emergency reserves were only large enough to support regularly-funded organisations for about six months.

“Now those emergency reserves are considerably smaller, at a time when the perfect storm for Scotland’s cultural sector shows no sign of abating.

“It’s extremely welcome that the Scottish Government has signalled an ambition to more than double the culture budget within the next five years, but their cuts this year are pulling in the opposite direction, depriving Creative Scotland of the resources and certainty it needs to support the arts sector now, and to plan to do so through the challenging period ahead.”