Creative Scotland to review options in the wake of outcry over funding decisions

Written by Tom Freeman on 30 January 2018 in News

Creative Scotland board meeting brought forward to “take stock” of outcry over regular funding decisions

Theatre seats - credit Antonio Scaramuzzino

Creative Scotland is to review its options for the funding of organisations in the wake of outcry following its recent awards of regular funding.

Theatre companies for children and disabled people expressed anger after the regular funding 2018-21 decisions announced on 25 January appeared to favour festivals and agencies over artist-led organisations.

Companies which lost three-year funding included children’s companies Catherine Wheels and Visible Fictions, Scottish Youth Theatre and companies which work with disabled actors including Birds of Paradise and Lung Ha's.

Creative Scotland said the companies would receive interim funding for a year until a new touring fund was established.

However, after one-to-one meetings with representatives of the companies, Creative Scotland chief executive Janet Archer has brought forward the organisation’s board meeting to discuss the issue.

“We are listening carefully to everything everyone is saying. We're doing that through one to one meetings with organisations and correspondence directly with us,” she said.

“Given the strength of views being presented, we will be bringing forward the Creative Scotland Board meeting, originally scheduled for 15 February.

“At this meeting, we will be taking stock of the decisions made regarding organisations not included in the Regular Funding Network, and the options available.

“We will make a further announcement as soon as we can next week, following this meeting.

“It’s important to note that this will not affect any of the 116 organisations, or the transition arrangements, already announced as part of the network.”

The 2018-21 Regular Funding Network consists of 116 organisations, of which 19 are new to regular funding and 97 continue their regular funding relationship, supported by £99m grant in aid funding and a three-year budget commitment from the Scottish Government.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said funding decisions were independent from government but that she had given written and verbal guidance to support youth arts during the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People.

“A lot of angst and worry could be avoided if Creative Scotland is clearer to children and disability theatre companies its commitment and funding plans,” she tweeted.

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