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Widening access to culture

The Scottish Government is fully committed to widening engagement with culture for all Scotland’s communities and people and sets the overall framework within which Scotland is enabled to produce world-class culture and creative output, ensuring that people are actively engaged in culture and creative activities. The Scottish Government places a high value on taking part in cultural and creative activities. It has a key policy and funding relationship with Creative Scotland which has a statutory function of encouraging as many people as possible to access and participate in the arts and culture. The Government works with local authorities to agree shared priorities on the value and benefits of cultural engagement.

We want to ensure that access to, and participation in, cultural activities is as inclusive and accessible as possible, and that culture and creativity is fully embedded, across the policy spectrum, to help deliver our key priorities in education, health, justice, social inclusion and enterprise.

To do this, we are working in partnership with local authorities and other stakeholders from the cultural and heritage sector. Local authorities already make a unique and significant contribution to the delivery of cultural services. We work closely with their representative bodies such as VOCAL (Voice for culture and leisure managers in Scotland) and COSLA (Convention of Scottish Local Authorities) (as well as with individual local authorities directly), regarding ways to build on this and to strive for continuous improvement and excellent outcomes for people across Scotland.

We are currently engaged in an active ‘conversation’ with stakeholders from across Scotland’s creative and cultural sector to refine and focus an outcomes approach for culture. The results of these conversations will continue to inform our work with local authorities and other bodies and an update on this work will be available in due course.

In 2011, a new cultural indicator for the National Performance Framework was agreed – to ‘increase cultural engagement’. See here for further information.