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by Staff reporter
17 February 2023
Holyrood committee to scrutinise reach of Scottish Government's culture strategy

Holyrood committee to scrutinise reach of Scottish Government's culture strategy

The Scottish Parliament’s culture committee has launched an inquiry to determine whether the ambition of the government’s culture strategy is being achieved.

Launched in 2020, the strategy set out a vision of Scotland as a place where culture is "valued, protected and nurtured", with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon writing in the foreword to the document that “by investing in and strengthening culture, we are investing in the future cultural, social and economic success of Scotland”.

The Constitution, Europe, External Affairs and Culture Committee has launched its inquiry to find out what cultural activities are actually happening in communities across Scotland and what more needs to be done to support them.

Committee convener Clare Adamson said: “Scotland has a rich cultural heritage and the very heart of that lies within our local communities.  From community choirs to book clubs, local galas to theatre groups, there are a huge range of activities taking place each and every day.

“But these activities are not always easy to access or indeed organise, so we want to find out what support is needed to make these events happen and, importantly, where this support should come from.

“Culture enriches us all and this is especially true for our communities, which is why we want to hear directly from those at the very heart of Scotland’s local communities.”

When the government launched its culture strategy, then culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said that “how a nation values its many cultures and heritages, its artists, its creative people and its communities gives an insight into its wider values”.

However, funding for cultural activities has come under increased pressure since, with the Scottish Government proposing to cut £6.6m from Creative Scotland’s budget in the coming year. The organisation, which also receives funding from the National Lottery, supports cultural projects across the country.

Local authorities, meanwhile, are cutting their cultural budgets for the year ahead, with Glasgow City Council this week confirming that the Mitchell Library and Tramway Theatre will reduce their opening hours while funding for a week-long series of events at Kevingrove Bandstand will be withdrawn.    

The culture committee is asking people from local communities to submit their views between now and the end of March.

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