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Our statement on recent funding announcements
It’s been a big weekend for arts funding. On Friday 3rd July, the Scottish Government announced a £10m Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund, and on 5th July the UK Government released news of its £1.57bn support package for the arts, of which £97m is earmarked for Scotland.
We welcome the news and are encouraged that those in charge are listening to the voice of the cultural sector at this time.
The challenge now, however, is to ensure the entirety of the cultural landscape is reflected in any further funding decisions – including, of course, contemporary visual art. We are determined that the visual arts in Scotland play a key role in societal renewal from our own local communities outwards.
In our letter to the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture (25 June) we urged a package of bold fiscal actions that would stabilise and strengthen the culture sector as a whole, knowing that a healthy sector offers the best prospect for artists, art workers and organisations of all sizes and types.
We called for a doubling of the current cultural budget and a five-year stabilisation deal for the cultural sector, so that we are able to contribute fully to the national recovery and build a cultural workforce based on the principles of equality and fair work, enabling publicly-funded organisations to pay union rates and support the living wage. We also backed wider policy changes, such as a Citizens Basic Income, which would safeguard precarious livelihoods for the future.
On Monday 6th July, we wrote to the Cabinet Secretary again to urge that further funding decisions must take into account those creating lasting and vital impact at a local level – both artists and organisations – and those whose voices are often unheard in the wider national conversation around culture.
Now we need to hear from you. It’s crucial we get the sector’s voice heard in the next round of discussion with government. Could you take ten minutes to update us on your immediate situation?