Despite Austerity Fears, Creative Scotland Receives a Grant Boost From the Government

Scottish finance secretary Derek Mackay revealed the draft budget last Thursday.

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay and Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, arrive at the Scottish Parliament on December 14, 2017 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Photo: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images.

Last Thursday, public arts body Creative Scotland announced a 21-percent increase in its discretionary government grant in aid budget for 2018/19, in response to a decrease in UK National Lottery funding for the arts.

Creative Scotland, which supports the national theater, dance, music, and artistic companies, has revealed its budget for the 2018/19 period is £38.9 million (over $52 million), and that the Scottish Government will contribute almost £20 million over the next three years in support of the public body’s regularly funded organizations, as well as a £10 million boost for a new screen unit.

“The increase in culture spending set out in this draft budget underlines the Scottish Government’s commitment to the pivotal role that culture and creativity plays in people’s lives across Scotland and the cultural, social and economic value delivered through creative endeavour,” said Creative Scotland’s chief executive, Janet Archer, in a statement. “This is particularly welcome in the context of declining income from the National Lottery,” she continued.

Lottery income usually makes up about 40 percent of Creative Scotland’s budget, but that has now dropped to just 25 percent.

Creative Scotland’s board will convene on January 18, 2018, to set the draft budget for 2018/19 and finalize its regular funding for the next three years.

Ahead of the budget announcement, in fear that Scotland’s finance secretary, Derek Mackay, would impose cuts on the arts, over 100 Scottish authors and poets including Irvine Welsh, Alexander McCall Smith, and Jackie Kay lobbied the Scottish Government in an open letter asking that it “increase funding for the arts and literature, for the good of everyone in Scotland.” The draft budget, released on December 14, actually saw Scotland increase culture spending by 10 percent.


Follow artnet News on Facebook:


Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.

Share