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by Kirsteen Paterson
08 April 2024
Hope remains for Aye Write as Scottish Government funding talks continue

Former first minister Nicola Sturgeon and comedian Janey Godley appeared at Aye Write in 2023 | Alamy

Hope remains for Aye Write as Scottish Government funding talks continue

Axed book festival Aye Write could still be saved as lifeline talks continue.

The Glasgow literature festival, one of the largest in Scotland, was shelved after Creative Scotland rejected its bid for support worth £75,000.

Authors and publishers including Chris Brookmyre, Val McDermid and Canongate shared their dismay at the news, which followed controversy over the arts agency's decision to award "dyke sex" film Rein £85,000.

That decision was reversed following questions over the use of public money which saw Penny Mordaunt MP raise the matter in the House of Commons.

Aye Write bosses learned the funding bid had failed on March 5, weeks before it was made public and as the team worked to finalise this year's programme.

The Wee Write strand, which caters for junior readers, was to celebrate its 10th anniversary this year.

A spokesperson asked "any organisations or individuals who would be interested in supporting the festivals financially" to come forward.

First Minister Humza Yousaf, who represents Glasgow Pollok, said officials would "look at what potential support the Scottish Government can provide" for the event, which is run by council body Glasgow Life and supports literacy in the city.

Hope remains that a rescue package can be agreed after the Scottish Government told Holyrood its officials are "in regular contact with Glasgow Life and Creative Scotland and discussion around Aye Write is ongoing".

A government spokesperson said: "Creative Scotland is an arms-length funding body and ministers have no role in funding decisions around individual projects. 

"The first minister has given an undertaking that he will examine the issue and keep members updated on what support the Scottish Government can provide."

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