Proposals to cut Creative Scotland’s budget by more than 10% are reversed.
The Scottish Government has abandoned proposals to cut almost £7m from Creative Scotland’s budget.
Deputy First Minister John Swinney, the acting Finance Minister, announced the amendment to the government’s budget plans for 2023/24 in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday (21 February).
The draft budget, published in December, had proposed to cut Creative Scotland’s Grant-in-Aid budget, which goes towards funding arts and culture organisations across Scotland, from £63m to £56m – a reduction of more than 10%.
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The reversal follows an emergency campaign launched last week, led by Campaign for the Arts, calling on the Scottish government to abandon the proposed cuts, which received over 15,000 signatures through an online petition.
An alliance of unions representing actors, musicians, visual artists, writers, crew and technicians also called for the cuts to be reversed.
In a letter written by the Scottish Trades Union Congress to Swinney and Culture Secretary Angus Robertson, the unions said ministers were using culture jobs as “cannon fodder” to make budget savings, and warned the 10% funding cut would put 8,500 arts workers' already “precarious” livelihoods at risk.
Jack Gamble, Director of the Campaign for the Arts, said this “vital result” is down to all those who spoke out and showed their support for culture in Scotland.
“The Scottish Government has listened, and it has done the right thing. It’s proof that change is possible when we come together to make it happen,” he added.
Creative Scotland has warmly welcomed the reinstatement of its budget to 2022/23 levels, after projecting up to half of its regularly funded organisations could lose funding if the cuts had gone ahead.
Chair Robert Wilson commented: “It follows a great deal of work from Creative Scotland in setting out the impact and implications of the proposed budget reduction, and the enormously valuable advocacy work from people and organisations across Scotland’s culture sector and beyond.
“The Board will now consider what this means for our budget and our funding in 2023/24 and we will announce more on this as soon as possible.”