Building a New Scotland: Culture in an independent Scotland

This paper sets out the Scottish Government's vision for culture in an independent Scotland.


Our culture and creative sectors are a key part of Scotland's economy. As an independent country, Scotland's rich and diverse culture would help our economy to thrive, while also playing a central role in building a fairer and more inclusive society. Culture would help communities come together and help us think differently about the biggest issues.

The powers of independence would also allow Scotland to make decisions to help our culture, events and creative sectors realise their full potential. Whether it is creating a fairer and more open immigration system or establishing a fairer and more equal labour market, independence would allow future governments to put policies in place to benefit Scotland's creative economy.

Being open and welcoming and being able to attract talented people from around the world is vital to the future of the sector. The ability of Scotland's artists and creative professionals to work and tour internationally is of huge importance in reaching new audiences, generating income, collaborating and building vital networks across borders, and showcasing Scotland's creative sectors internationally.

An independent Scotland, as a member of the EU in its own right, would regain the benefits of freedom of movement between Scotland and the EU, ensuring that our culture benefits fully from cross-border cultural exchange. It is expected that creative professionals in Scotland, as in Ireland, would benefit from visa-free access to both the EU and UK due to the Common Travel Area. Scotland would also have the power to put in place migration policies that ensure that our culture is connected with the rest of the world, and that our culture and creative sectors can attract the international talent that they need.

In an independent Scotland, we could ensure that everyone is able to realise their right to participate in cultural life, harnessing the power of culture to build more cohesive, inclusive and diverse communities, and to bring people together across Scotland.

An independent Scotland could lead the way in ensuring that culture, and all the benefits it brings, is there for everyone in society.



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