Committee launches inquiry into the future funding of the arts in Scotland


An inquiry into the future of funding for the arts in Scotland has been launched today by MSPs on the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee.

The Committee has issued a call for views for artists, cultural freelancers, arts organisations and others interested in the future of the arts to respond to. The inquiry follows scrutiny undertaken by the Committee last year into Creative Scotland’s handling of the Regular Funding round for 2018-2021. 

The inquiry will seek to focus on two overarching themes, firstly what would a sustainable model of arts funding in Scotland look like and secondly how should that funding be made available to individual artists.

It will look at what public and private source of funding is available for artists including through Creative Scotland, which has a budget of £90million, and local authorities. The inquiry will also consider what more can be done to address access to and distribution of funding particularly given the significant competition and hurdles that exist when applying.

Convener of the Committee, Joan McAlpine MSP said:

“Sustainable funding for the future of the arts is critical to us having a thriving cultural sector that encourages and supports a diverse range of artists.

“The Committee took evidence on this issue last year when it looked at the process Creative Scotland undertook for its regular funding and whilst we found specific issues with that process, some of the evidence also raised wider concerns. This included the difficulties in accessing public funding and also how the process for regular funding is set up. 

“That’s why we now want to hear from as many people in the sector to really get a view of what more can be done to support artists and the wider sector in Scotland for the long term, including what we can learn from other countries.”

Deputy Convener of the Committee, Claire Baker MSP said:

“Public funding for the arts in Scotland is key to supporting a sustainable arts and culture sector.   The inquiry will consider at how easy it is to access public funding and how effectively it is distributed.

“But we know that there is a demand for arts and culture funding that the current system is struggling to meet.  We want to try and find out more from the sector if there is anything further that the Scottish Government could do to try and ensure that funding for the arts is sustainable in the long term.”

The specific questions that the Committee seeks views on include:

• What are the major threats to sustainable funding of the arts in Scotland?
• What are the main challenges for artists and cultural freelancers in obtaining funding in Scotland?
• What measures could the Scottish Government take to ensure a sustainable level of funding for the arts?
• How could Scotland be innovative in attracting greater funding for the arts?
• How should public money be make available to support artists and cultural freelancers in Scotland?
• What factors should be considered and how should decisions be made about which artists or cultural freelancers should obtain public funding in Scotland?


The closing date for submissions in 12 April. To find out more about how to submit written evidence please click here.

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