Arts funding needs a greater focus on artists says Holyrood Committee


The Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee has today published its report into Scotland’s funding of the arts and artists where it called for an urgent resetting of arts policy and funding. The Committee’s report is the first Scottish Parliament inquiry to consider the arts funding system as a whole.

In its report the Committee has highlighted that current funding models do not provide adequate support to individual artists and that the Scottish Government should give serious consideration to the forthcoming culture strategy being supported by a funding budget above 1% of the Scottish Government’s overall budget.

Since starting its inquiry in March earlier this year the Committee has heard from a range of artists and other stakeholders on the issue of arts funding. This has included obtaining evidence from artists and arts organisations, undertaking visits to hear from artists in local communities and seeking to learn lessons from elsewhere based on research the Committee commissioned into arts funding in other countries.

Committee Convener, Joan McAlpine MSP said:

“The overall aim of this report was to put the focus of the arts funding system on the artists themselves. The committee heard compelling evidence that significant action is needed to achieve this.

“Public funding of Scotland’s arts and culture will only become sustainable if artists are at the centre of policy and paid the fair wage they deserve. The Committee has therefore called on the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland to take urgent, robust action to ensure this becomes the case.

Deputy Convener, Claire Baker MSP said:

‘As culture is not a protected budget, it is vulnerable to funding pressures, and the provision of cultural services across the country is variable. A sustainable arts funding system is one where the Scottish Government and local authorities work in partnership to support creativity in all parts of Scotland, and there is a need to reset this relationship.’


The Committee’s inquiry, which was the first Scottish Parliament Committee inquiry, to consider arts funding had two overarching themes—

What would a sustainable model of arts funding look like; and

How should that funding be made available to artists?

The Committee received 69 responses from a wide range of individual artists and organisations. The Committee took formal evidence on seven occasions as well as conducting fact-finding visits to Ayr and Dunfermline where it met with artists at different stages of their careers, local authority representatives and with people working in the arts. The Committee also commissioned independent comparative research from Drew Wylie Ltd into highlight international examples of best practice to inform the inquiry.

The final report can be found here.

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