FM defends £6.6m cut to Creative Scotland's budget

The Herald

03 Oct 2023

by Andrew Learmonth

More than 13,200 people have now signed a petition organised by the Campaign For The Arts charity calling for the government to rethink the saving.

Jack Gamble, from the Campaign For The Arts, criticised Mr Yousaf for trying to shift the blame for the Scottish Government’s funding cut.

“The First Minister blames the Westminster mini-budget and rising inflation for this sudden U-turn, but the Scottish Government pledged to maintain funding for Creative Scotland in February, five months after the mini-budget, and since then inflation has actually come down.

“We all accept that there are huge pressures right now – that’s exactly why the sector needs backing, and why Creative Scotland has sensibly been building reserves, including for a ‘transition fund’ to save companies from a financial cliff-edge if they lose regular funding.

“Even if we can trust that the Scottish Government will reverse this cut next year, they will still have made a significant, £6.6m dent in Creative Scotland’s reserves.

“Ministers say that they value the arts, but rather than investing in them and their social and economic potential, they are choosing to implement sudden funding cuts that will make Creative Scotland and the sector more precarious.

“It’s not too late for the Scottish Government to do the right thing, keep to their word, and restore this funding in the Autumn Budget Revision.”