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C&BS statement on the cut to Creative Scotland budget from Scottish Government

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Posted 02 October 2023

Creative Scotland has announced that the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Angus Robertson, in a letter to Chief Executive, Iain Munro on 20 September, has confirmed the Scottish Government has reapplied a 10% cut to their Grant in Aid Budget for 2023-24, and that this £6.6m sum has not been included in the Autumn Budget Revisions.

In response to this decision to reverse the reinstalment of this cut, our CEO David Watt made the following statement to share our concerns about the impact that this will have on the culture sector.

“At a time when Scottish Government ministers repeatedly speak about the importance and value of culture to our society and economy, the reinstatement of the £6.6M cut to Creative Scotland’s annual budget for the current year is unfathomable.

“Just yesterday (Thursday September 28), I, alongside other cultural representatives, gave budget evidence to the Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee to hopefully ensure that this shortsighted budget decision does not extend into the 2024-25 budget for culture settlement.

“Investment in culture is essential for society, local communities, tourism, the economy and Scotland’s international reputation. The ongoing challenges of the legacy impact of Covid, Brexit and the cost-of-living crisis, are very real, with many arts and culture organisations operating on a knife’s edge.

“These issues are exacerbated as the majority have a lack of unrestricted reserves and continue to struggle to build these up due to slow growth in ticket sales and increased overheads due to high energy prices.

“A reduction in public funding will rapidly increase the firefighting our culture organisations and venues are facing against challenge after challenge. If this budget pattern continues, with little opportunity to ensure future sustainability, there will be an inevitable shrinkage of the culture sector, and the economic and social impact of this will be significant for us all.”

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