Creative Scotland U-turn reinstates the funding for five theatre companies

Written by Tom Freeman on 7 February 2018 in News

Five theatre companies reinstated after public outcry over Creative Scotland cuts

Factory theatre, by Kayla-Jane Barrie

Creative Scotland has reinstated three-year funding for five theatre companies after a groundswell of public outcry followed last week's announcement of the latest long-term funding awards.

Major children's companies and those which employ disabled actors were among the casualties, while funding favoured festivals and support organisations like the federation of Scottish theatre.

Creative Scotland insisted that the artist-led companies would benefit from a new shorter term touring fund, but the decision was met with anger from the arts community.

Two members of the Creative Scotland board resigned during the row.

After an emergency board meeting yesterday the agency announced Birds of Paradise, Lung Ha, Catherine Wheels, Visible Fictions and the Dunedin Consort will now be funded for the next three years.

The move will involve additional funding of £2.6m, which will be taken from elsewhere in Creative Scotland's budget.

Stellar Quines, which had faced a 22 per cent cut, will see its budget returned to its previous level.

Interim chairman of Creative Scotland Ben Thomson said: "We have listened to the extensive and constructive feedback we received from many individuals and organisations working across the arts and culture in Scotland," he said.

"We have reviewed our budget for regular funding and, within the limits of the alternative funds available to us, we have been able to re-allocate £2.6m over three years, allowing us to include five further arts-producing organisations in the network."

Douglas Irvine, artistic director of Visible Fictions, thanked supporters.

"To everyone who contacted us, signed our petition, wrote letters, emails, tweets - we are so incredibly thankful to you all," he said.

"And now we can carry on with the job of collaborating with fabulous artists and creatives, working with our dynamic partners, and always aiming to deliver the best work we can for the young people both here in Scotland and abroad."

David Leddy, director of experimental company Fire Exit, said he was "devastated" that the decision to cut the company's funding hadn't been reversed.

"As a result we now face closure next year," he said.

"We still have not received an explanation for why we’ve been cut and are deeply disappointed that we learned of this decision via social media. We requested a meeting with Janet Archer last week, we are waiting to hear back."

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