Arts, culture and heritage

Annual culture funding

We provide annual funding for a number of cultural organisations who are responsible for preserving and promoting Scotland's arts, culture and heritage. These are as follows:

  • Creative Scotland
  • Historic Environment Scotland
  • National Collections of Scotland
  • National Performing Companies
  • Scottish Library and Information Council

Details of what each of these organisations do are provided below.

Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the national public body for Scotland's arts, screen and creative industries.

From 2015 to 2016 we provided Creative Scotland with £33,632,000 to develop and promote creative talent in Scotland.

Visit Creative Scotland's website.

Historic Environment Scotland

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) is the lead public body for investigating, promoting and caring for Scotland's historic environment. It is also Scotland's largest operator of paid visitor attractions.

We sponsor HES to:

  • deliver our historic environment strategy, Our Place In Time
  • conserve and manage properties in our care, such as Edinburgh Castle, and ensure public access to them, including operating some of them as visitor attractions
  • distribute grant funding of £14.5 million to support our historic places

From 2017 to 2018 we provided HES with £45.5 million to fulfil these actions.

HES combines the functions previously performed by Historic Scotland and the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland (RCAHMS).

Visit Historic Environment Scotland's website.

National Collections of Scotland

The National Collections of Scotland include all our museums, galleries and archives. We provide them with annual funding to collect and publicly exhibit items and archives of national and international importance.

The National Collections of Scotland are:

  • National Galleries of Scotland, including the National Gallery, the Scottish National Portrait Gallery, the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, the Dean Gallery, and two partner galleries at Duff House and Paxton House
  • National Museums Scotland, including the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, the National Museum of Flight in East Lothian, the National Museum of Rural Life in East Kilbride, and the National War Museum Scotland at Edinburgh Castle
  • National Library of Scotland, Scotland's largest library and its only legal deposit library, providing free access to more than 14 million items (though it does not lend out books)
  • National Records of Scotland (NRS), which looks after Scotland's national archives, maintains statutory registers and runs Scotland's census

From 2016 to 2017 we provided NRS with £28.4 million to fund projects including:

  • designing a digital preservation service
  • progressing the Data Linkage Framework strategy to securely deliver data research projects
  • expanding access to records through the ScotlandsPeople website

National Performing Companies

Scotland's five National Performing Companies make a significant contribution to cultural life in Scotland, across the UK, and internationally.

The five National Performing Companies are:

  • National Theatre of Scotland - our national theatre company
  • Royal Scottish National Orchestra - our national symphony orchestra
  • Scottish Ballet - our national dance company
  • Scottish Chamber Orchestra - our national chamber orchestra
  • Scottish Opera - our national opera company

These companies operate on a far greater scale than other performing arts organisations in Scotland and we support them directly through annual funding and the £350,000 International Touring Fund.

Records of the funding they received from 2015 to 2016, as well as further information on artistic achievements, audiences and community engagement, are available in the annual report of the five Scottish National Performing Companies: April 2015 to March 2016.

View information on specific additional support and State Aid for the National Performing Companies.

Scottish Library and Information council

We recognise that public libraries support literacy, digital participation, learning, employability and culture, and in doing so help to tackle inequality, raise attainment and improve the quality of people's lives.

We invest in our public libraries through supporting the Scottish Library and Information Council (SLIC) and through the annual Public Library Improvement Fund (PLIF).

From 2016 to 2017 we are providing PLIF with £450,000 to develop new and innovative ways for people to use libraries.

Find more information on projects funded by PLIF on the Scottish Library and Information Council website.

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