Scores of Scottish arts organisations miss out on multi-year funding

28 Feb 2024

More than 70 arts and culture organisations in Scotland have failed in their bids to gain multi-year funding from Creative Scotland.

Announcing the results of the first of a two-stage application process, the funding body said that of the 361 applications received, 10 were not eligible for assessment, with a further 66 found to not meet the criteria, meaning their applications will not proceed to stage two. 

Iain Munro, Creative Scotland’s Chief Executive said the range and breadth of applications received were "testament to the ambition and potential that exists across Scotland's culture and creative sector". 

"Today's announcement represents the outcome from Stage One of the process, with successful applicants now progressing to stage two," he said. 

"This remains a live and extremely competitive process, and not every stage two application is likely to be successful.” 

Stage two of the application process for multi-year funding opens on Wednesday 6 March, with the deadline for applications set at 2pm on Wednesday 24 April. 

The final outcome from the application process will be announced by the end of October, with funding in place for successful organisations from 1 April 2025. 

Creative Scotland announces £800k of National Lottery funding

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The Open Fund supports activities initiated by artists, producers and creative practitioners across Scotland.

Edinburgh Fringe: Accommodation boost for performers

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06 Feb 2024

Partnership between Fringe Society and local university forms part of efforts to double number of affordable rooms available to performers for the 2024 festival.

Independent Scotland could introduce tax exemption for artists

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05 Feb 2024

The Scottish National Party has published a paper proposing benefits to the country's cultural and creative sectors if it leaves the UK.

Royal Ballet School announces regional training hub

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29 Jan 2024

Charity says it hopes to open more training hubs across the UK as part of efforts to improve access to dance and grow commercial revenue.

Musicians awarded compensation after orchestra insolvency

24 Jan 2024

An employment tribunal has ruled 17 members of a former ensemble, which became insolvent suddenly last year, are entitled to a share of £30,350 compensation.

The Nevis Ensemble, which had a total of 19 fellows who regularly performed in care homes, prisons, schools and recovery groups, announced sudden insolvency in January 2023.

The charity, which launched in 2018 and gave almost 700 performances, said it was facing “severe funding challenges” and was “unable to deliver their activities” at the time of the closure.

It left the musicians they supported without a promised annual bursary of £11,000, paid in monthly £1,000 instalments.

The compensation awarded in the employment tribunal is for unauthorised deduction of wages, breach of contract and unpaid holidays.

Sam Dunkley, Musicians’ Union Acting Regional Organiser for Scotland and Northern Ireland said: “We are pleased that the Employment Tribunal Judgment has found in favour of the Nevis fellows and awarded compensation for losses suffered and for a protective award for the lack of information and consultation. 

“These musicians were dismissed with no notice or consultation process, leaving them in real financial peril and without the security they should have had.

“We hope that those engaging musicians take time to consider the impact of this finding and recognise employed musicians properly in their workforce, as well as following appropriate redundancy and consultation procedures when necessary.”

Use philanthropy to increase arts funding, says Robertson

Scotland's Culture Secretary Angus Robertson
23 Jan 2024

Scotland’s Cultural Secretary Angus Robertson says exploring new funding streams in addition to government funding, and working closely with local authorities, will be key for the future of the sector.

Scottish government commits £200,000 to 'slavery museum'

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22 Jan 2024

All six recommendations of independent steering group, set up to advise on how museums and galleries can better reflect the country’s role in empire, colonialism and historic slavery are accepted by Scottish government.

V&A Dundee halves its major exhibit output to cut costs

18 Jan 2024

V&A Dundee will reduce the number of major exhibitions it stages each year as part of “mitigating measures” to cut costs.

The move means the Scottish design museum will host only one annual paid exhibition.

A new report sent to the Scottish government by the organisation confirmed that the programming change, first introduced on a trial basis in 2022 in response to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, will become permanent for the foreseeable future.

The reduction in exhibits is part of a range of measures designed to financially bolster the venue in what it describes as a “volatile operating environment”. Other actions include covering operational costs from financial reserves and cutting overall spending.

In comments to the Scottish parliament last week, V&A Dundee director Leonie Bell said that over the previous five years, the museum had endured “year on year of mitigating measures”, leading to difficulties “to plan beyond a year ahead”.

An independent report published in September 2023 estimated that V&A Dundee had generated £304m for the Scottish economy in the five years since it opened.

The venue receives most of its funding from the Scottish government, which recently increased its grant for 2024/25 by £800,000, taking it to £3.8m.
 

Fringe festival chiefs call for regular government funding

16 Jan 2024

Leaders of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society say the city’s status as host of a leading cultural festival is in jeopardy unless the Scottish government offers a new funding approach.

Scottish arts organisations facing financial distress

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10 Jan 2024

Fiona McKerrellCarissa Najafian and Kirsty Fryer are lawyers with extensive experience of working with organisations facing financial challenges. Here they share top tips for weathering the current storm.

Scottish Youth Music Initiative funds 52 community projects

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09 Jan 2024

The scheme, backed by the Scottish government, provides grants of up to £30k for music-making projects delivered outside of schools.

Scottish culture budget to rise by £15.8m

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20 Dec 2023

The Scottish Government has previously pledged to invest an additional £100m in arts and culture by 2028/29.

Scotland to consider £1 music ticket levy

19 Dec 2023

Cross-party MSPs voice support for adding £1 tax to arena and stadium tours to raise money for struggling grassroots music venues.

Theatre project for young people with care experience launches

12 Dec 2023

A theatrical ensemble for young people with experience with the care system has launched in Scotland.

WAC Pro aims to support professional development within the arts and provide young artists with creative skills. Participants will create 10 new pieces, consisting of five theatre productions and five films, with the support of industry professionals. 

Funded by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, WAC Pro will offer its members a series of masterclasses, one-to-one guidance, a daily freelance rate and a budget for their productions. 

The project is a collaboration with Citizens Theatre, GMAC Film, Arts in the City and WAC Ensemble, a theatre group for people with experience of being in care. 

WAC Ensemble was formed in 2019, initially for 18-to 26-year-olds, but has evolved to support members who have aged out of the original parameters of the project.

Deni Smith, Arts and Culture Development Worker at Arts in the City, said: “All of us have creativity within us; however, there are often barriers that we face when exploring that part of ourselves – particularly if we are embarking on a career in the creative industries; and, for individuals with care experience, they can be faced additional challenges. 

“WAC Pro has been designed to alleviate some of these barriers through the package of support provided. For the Ensemble members, who each have lived experience of care, the project provides a paid opportunity to dedicate time to their creative ideas.” 

Edinburgh Deaf Festival 'facing funding crisis'

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Organisers say losing the festival would mean fewer opportunities for deaf artists to fulfil their potential.

Glasgow theatre restoration gets further £382k

Statues ready to be lifted into place on the new Citizens Theatre façade in August 2023
04 Dec 2023

Work began on a complete overhaul of Citizens Theatre in 2019 after the original Victorian building was found to have significantly deteriorated.

Theatre and dance projects get £2m to tour Scotland

04 Dec 2023

A total of 14 theatre and dance projects have received funding to tour communities across Scotland.

Among those receiving a share of £2m National Lottery funding through Creative Scotland’s Touring Fund for Theatre and Dance are Dogstar Theatre Company, based in the Scottish Highlands around Inverness, and Lyth Arts Centre, Scotland’s most northerly mainland arts centre based in Caithness.

Creative Scotland said the funding will enable a wide range of new and award-winning productions, such as modern adaptations of classic works, autobiographical pieces, musicals, physical theatre and spoken word performances, to visit small, mid and large-scale venues across 2024 and 2025. 

Paul Burns, Creative Scotland’s Interim Director of Arts, said: “We’re delighted to be announcing recipients of the seventh round of funding to support makers and programmers of some of Scotland’s best theatre and dance. 

"Featuring new and familiar names, this stellar line-up of shows is ready to hit the road and weave their magic with first-time and seasoned audiences in a whole host of settings.”  

AEG submits plans for 'much needed' Edinburgh arena 

23 Nov 2023

The global entertainment and sporting group AEG has submitted plans to Edinburgh Council proposing the construction of an 8,500-capacity entertainment venue to the west of the city.

If successful, work is expected to begin in 2025 for a 2027 opening.

Edinburgh, known for its world-renowned arts and cultural festivals, boasts a range of venues but does not have a large-scale indoor venue. Previous proposals for an 8,000-capacity arena south of Edinburgh were tabled in 2019 but failed to get off the ground.

AEG President Alex Hill said the project would "cement Edinburgh's reputation as a destination for culture".

He said that the “much needed” arena will bring “world-class live music and entertainment to Edinburgh.”

Anger in Elgin as 93% of cultural funds go to one postcode

13 Nov 2023

An Elgin councillor has branded Creative Scotland’s allocation of funds in the county of Moray “astonishing” after it emerged that 93% of grants went to a single postcode.

Of the almost £2.26 million awarded in the region since 2020, nearly £2.1 million went to organisations in the IV36 Forres postcode area, according to the Local Democracy Reporting service.

Sandy Keith, the Labour councillor for Elgin North, said: "It’s absolutely astonishing that there’s not one penny for Elgin, and we’re supposed to be building a cultural quarter here.

"Did nobody notice that most of the money’s going to one postcode?"

A representative on behalf of Dance North Scotland, Findhorn Bay Arts and Universal Hall Promotions said: "Yes, these organisations are based in Findhorn and Forres. However, all three organisations work tirelessly to ensure that the wider Moray community benefits from the arts... [They] offer services that reach across the region and have cultural impacts that reach much further afield."

A spokesperson for Creative Scotland said: "In our continued drive to grow engagement with arts and creativity and to help build more diverse, equitable and sustainable cultural and creative communities for the future, we’re in the process of developing revised processes for distributing our funding to individuals and organisations.

"We’d recommend anyone wishing to apply for funding to get in touch with us and find out what support is available to them."

This article has been updated to include a response from Dance North Scotland, Findhorn Bay Arts and Universal Hall Promotions.

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