MSPs on the Scottish Parliament’s Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee are today launching a call for views on funding for culture in Scotland.

The call for views marks the start of the Committee’s work in advance of the Scottish Government’s budget for 2022-23. The Committee plans to gather evidence and make recommendations for the Scottish Government to take into account before it publishes its spending plans for the coming year.

The Committee is focussing its work on the culture sector in Scotland, given the sizable impact the pandemic has had on many culture-focused and creative businesses, groups and individuals. Covid restrictions severely curtailed many cultural businesses’ ability to operate, and the support which has been available through Government schemes is expected to wind up in the coming months.

The Committee wants to hear from individuals, groups and businesses operating in the creative sector to find out:

– What are their immediate and longer-term priorities as they recover from the pandemic, and how can Government support these through Budget 2022-23;

– How they see the sector looking in the future;

– And whether the Scottish Government might be able to take a more strategic approach to supporting the sector.

Speaking as the call for views was launched, Clare Adamson MSP, Committee Convener, said:

“The pandemic has tested, at times to breaking point, our creative industries, culture sector and those who make a living through them.

“MSPs on our Committee want to know what the sector wants to help it to recover and then thrive.

“Our culture scene is so important to Scotland, not only economically, but also for the social and societal benefits that it brings. Hearing the views of those involved in this sector will be vital to informing our recommendations for the Scottish Government on budgetary priorities.”

The call for views closes on Wednesday 8 September. More information is available online at this link.

Background

The Scottish Government’s 2021-22 budget provided for £175m to support culture and major events.  In addition local authorities provide significant funding for culture in their local areas; in 2019-20 councils spent around £195m on Culture and Heritage activities, including libraries.

The number of jobs in the ‘Arts, entertainment and recreation’ sector in Scotland fell from around 92,000 to 78,000 from March 2020 to March 2021.  In 2020, the output of the Arts, Culture & Recreation industries in Scotland fell by an estimated 27.6%.

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