Serious Concerns Expressed About Creative Scotland Bill


Serious concerns as to whether the Creative Scotland Bill will meet its objectives have been expressed by the Scottish Parliament’s Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee in its Stage 1 Report published today.

The bill seeks to establish a new national cultural development agency to be called ‘Creative Scotland’, replacing current organisations the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen.

In its report the committee supports the plan for Creative Scotland and recognises a desire in the arts, culture and creative industry sectors for the creation of the new body as soon as possible.

However, the committee believes that the bill lacks clarity in a number of important areas and will require significant amendment at Stage 2 of the parliamentary process to sharpen its focus and clarify a number of issues.

Committee Convener Karen Whitefield MSP said:

“The committee supports the proposal to establish Creative Scotland as the 21st century arts and creative industry body for Scotland. We recognise that there has been a long period of consultation and review and that the sector is now looking for clarity and stability.

“However, without further clarification of Creative Scotland’s priorities, the bill’s goals of developing and stimulating the creative economy and widening access to culture, could overlap, compete and confuse the organisations with whom it will work. The evidence received by the committee showed a high degree of concern surrounding the detail of the bill.”

The committee makes further recommendations including –

  • Calling on the Scottish Government to clarify the funding of the new body, given that its extended remit will not be matched by comparable increased funding levels in the first three years.
  • The need for a well balanced Creative Scotland board with a broad range of relevant experience and expertise.
  • The committee also wants more information on how Creative Scotland will work with other organisations in the sector, including enterprise agencies local authorities and the voluntary sector.
  • Further consideration should be given to the issue of definitions within the bill. Currently, terms such as “arts and culture” and “creativity” are used but not defined.

The Stage 1 debate on the bill is scheduled to take place in June.

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