Janet Archer steps down as chief executive of Creative Scotland

Written by Jenni Davidson on 17 July 2018 in News

The chief executive of the public body for the arts had been under fire over recent funding decisions

Janet Archer - Image credit: Creative Scotland

Janet Archer has stepped down as the chief executive of Creative Scotland after five years leading the public body for the arts in Scotland.

Her resignation follows a series of controversial funding decisions in January that saw a number of theatre companies for children, and others, lose their funding in the Year of Young People.

Although some later had their funding reinstated, the cuts resulted in the resignation of several board members, an inquiry by the Scottish Parliament’s culture committee and a review of the public body’s funding procedures.

Following the committee inquiry, Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee convener Joan McAlpine called concerns expressed by the arts sector about Creative Scotland’s funding decisions and communication “deeply worrying” and said they required “further scrutiny”.

Another committee member, Clare Baker, said there had been “a distinct lack of consistency and transparency” and that some in the sector who had “lost confidence in the process followed by Creative Scotland”.

Creative Scotland chair Robert Wilson thanked Archer for everything she had achieved over the past five years and for “the important contribution she has made to Creative Scotland, to the arts, screen and creative industries and to public life in Scotland more broadly”.

Archer said it had been an “honour” to work with Scotland’s artists and creative communities.

She said: “Over the past five years, we have supported artistic excellence, and equalities, diversity and inclusion.

“We accelerated our work for young people and supported creative projects in all of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas.

“We have also enhanced international support across artforms, especially for screen.”

She continued: “I’m pleased that in a difficult public financial context, Creative Scotland managed to work closely with the Scottish Government to secure an additional £19.8m funding for 2018-21 for regularly funded organisations to replace the unexpected steep downturn in National Lottery funding, as well as an additional £10m annual support for screen.

“I’m especially proud of the relationships we’ve established with partners to deliver shared plans and increase impact and would like to thank everyone for their commitment to working with us.

“I know that Creative Scotland’s brilliant and dedicated staff will take the organisation forwards positively and continue to realise opportunity wherever possible.

“I would particularly like to thank the Cabinet Secretary, Fiona Hyslop for her support over my tenure and her committed and steadfast determination to position culture at the heart of Government policy.”

Archer left Creative Scotland on 30 June and will receive six months’ salary in lieu of her notice period.

Deputy chief executive Iain Munro will lead the organisation as acting chief executive until a replacement is appointed.

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