Building a New Scotland: Culture in an independent Scotland

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

Foreword by the Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture

Scotland has a deep and rich culture that is known the world over. Whether for the Robert Burns' poem 'A Man's a Man for A' That', or Edinburgh's Festivals, with their open international spirit, Scotland's cultural contribution is rightly famous.

Our creativity has been recognised by UNESCO in our four Creative Cities: Dundee, City of Design; Edinburgh, City of Literature; Glasgow, City of Music; and most recently Perth, City of Crafts and Folk Art.

Our vast array of writers, artists, national collections and performing companies reflects the diverse modern Scotland we are proud to be.

As a government we have an ambitious strategy to better understand, protect, and value Scotland's unique historic environment and we are committed to ensuring that everyone has access to our castles, Neolithic monuments, medieval churches, Roman forts, and more.

Creative industries, fuelled by our excellence in Higher and Further Education and our story-telling skill, have flourished in areas like gaming, music, screen and unique textile production and design.

We have remained true to the life-changing impact of free access to culture, keeping our museums, galleries and public libraries open and enabling them to play a role in sparking the imaginations of new generations who use them.

We believe everyone has a right to culture to express and enjoy themselves.

Culture is one of Scotland's priceless assets and we are determined to protect and enhance it, putting it at the heart of our communities for the benefit of everyone. These strong foundations will help us become a successful, inclusive, vibrant independent nation.

Our ambition is to rejoin the EU as a member state in our own right as soon as possible. This would mean regaining the immense benefits of free movement of people and the networks that support the exchange of ideas upon which culture thrives.

It is more important than ever that Scotland has the powers necessary to support and develop our cultural and creative sectors: to ensure that creative professionals can work and collaborate with their peers around the world, and ensure that everyone in Scotland can fully benefit from our rich and diverse culture.

Harnessing the power of culture to help build a fairer society goes to the heart of the kind of country we believe is possible with independence. I look forward to a widespread conversation about those possibilities and the proposals we are putting forward in this paper.

Angus Robertson MSP

Cabinet Secretary for Constitution, External Affairs and Culture



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