Arts funding shake-up looming after Creative Scotland crisis

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The Scottish Parliament has launched a probe into the future of arts funding in the wake of widespread criticism of the quango Creative Scotland.

MSPS will explore the main financial threats facing the cultural sector and the difficulties faced by artists and organisations in securing support in recent years.

Culture committee convener Joan McAlpine has led the investigation into the handling of public funding by Creative Scotland.

Culture committee convener Joan McAlpine has led the investigation into the handling of public funding by Creative Scotland.

Holyrood's culture committee will also look at how to ensure there is a more "sustainable model" of funding for the sector in future.

It will explore what funding is currently available for the arts via the public and private sectors, examine how to make it easier to secure funding and recommend how more funding for the arts could be attracted in future.

The culture committee delivered a damning verdict on Creative Scotland last year, saying its system for allocating long-term funding had fallen "well below" the standard expected of a public body. A number of controversial cuts announced at the start of year were overturned by its board in the wake of a revolt from the arts sector, while chief executive Janet Archer resigned in the wake of the criticism.

Joan McAlpine, convener of the committee, 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.”