A Culture Strategy for Scotland: draft for consultation

Public consultation document seeking views on a draft Culture Strategy for Scotland developed following engagement with people across Scotland during 2017.

Annex B

Funding for culture in Scotland

The main public bodies that support culture in Scotland are:

  • Creative Scotland, the national public body supporting excellence in the arts, screen and creative industries, supports organisation and individuals through funding as well as having a 10-year plan and strategies for the arts, screen, creative industries, youth arts, plans for Creative Learning, specific sector reviews and a Place Partnership Programme with Local Authorities.
  • Historic Environment Scotland, the lead public body for investigating, promoting and caring for Scotland’s historic environment, distributes grant funding of £14.5 million to support Scotland’s historic places and it is also Scotland’s largest operator of paid visitor attractions. It is the lead body responsible for supporting the delivery of Our Place in Time, the national strategy for the historic environment in Scotland.
  • National Collections (National Galleries of Scotland; National Museums of Scotland; National Library of Scotland; and National Records of Scotland) preserve, interpret and present Scotland’s treasured archives and artefacts on behalf of the people of Scotland.
  • National Performing Companies (National Theatre of Scotland; Royal Scottish National Orchestra; Scottish Ballet; Scottish Chamber Orchestra; and Scottish Opera) have been funded by Scottish Government since April 2007. Through their collective achievement they contribute to Scotland being renowned at home and abroad as a creative nation, with a rich heritage, contributing to the world as a modern dynamic country through making a significant contribution to cultural life in Scotland and regularly producing work internationally.
  • Scottish Library and Information Council ( SLIC) drives innovation in public libraries, supporting literacy, digital participation, learning, employability and culture. In doing so, helps to tackle inequality, raise attainment and improve the quality of people’s lives through the Scotland’s national public library strategy.
  • Museums Galleries Scotland, Scottish Maritime Museum, National Mining Museum and Scottish Fisheries Museum.
  • Scottish Funding Council funds Scotland’s further and higher education institutions, including its 25 colleges and 19 universities with the aim of supporting Scotland to be the best place in the world to learn, educate, research and innovate.
  • Scottish Enterprise provides a range of support for new and developing businesses across Scotland including creative industries.
  • The British Council works and funds activity across the UK and internationally to extend safe spaces for culture, promote creative exploration and exchange, build trust, enable dialogue and present marginalised voices; as well as supporting the protection of cultural heritage and expression of cultural identities.

Scottish Government targeted funding for culture

Targeted funding is also provided by the Scottish Government for culture as follows:

  • The Scottish Government investment of £109 million since 2007 in the Youth Music Initiative (run by Creative Scotland) has made a significant impact helping young people across Scotland access music-making opportunities and develop their wider skills and learning.
  • The Scottish Government investment of £6.2 million between 2008 and 2017 in the CashBack for Creativity Programme (run by Creative Scotland) has enabled thousands of young people across Scotland to access life-changing creative opportunities to boost their skills, improve their employability and reach their full potential through engagement with creativity and the arts.
  • The Scottish Government has pledged to double screen funding in 2018-19, with an additional £10 million for production, development and growth. Creative Scotland distributes funding for screen, including its Screen Fund of around £4 million, using National Lottery funding, as well as the Production Growth Fund, Regular Funding, Open Project Funding and Targeted Funding. Creative Scotland is also creating new funds to be set-up in 2018-19 along with the development of a new Scottish screen unit.
  • To enable Scottish artists to be profiled to a large international audience, helping build and extend their career, the Scottish Government Festivals Expo fund has provided £21 million, over the last
    10 years, to members of Festivals Edinburgh and has recently extended to include Celtic Connections and Glasgow international.
  • The Scottish Government, in partnership with City of Edinburgh Council and Festivals Edinburgh, has committed £1 million of matched funding over the next 5 years for Platform for Creative Excellence ( PLACE) in recognition of the critical role of the Edinburgh Festivals in strengthening cultural excellence across all festivals; increasing creative development opportunities for Scotland’s cultural sectors; and developing partnerships with community and social welfare organisations that improve lives for individuals and communities through cultural access and engagement.

Other major funders and supporters of culture

Other major funders and supporters of culture include:

  • Local Authorities ( LA): LA provision and support is the backbone of the cultural infrastructure in Scotland, with LAs running grant programmes and managing many local museums, galleries, libraries, theatres, festivals and events, and venues. In 2016-17, Local Government net revenue expenditure on Culture and related services was £576 million.
  • Some Local Authorities support cultural services through Arm’s Length External Organisations ( ALEOS). These have been set up by 25 of Scotland’s 32 Local Authorities to manage sport, leisure, cultural facilities and services, with ALEOs taking on large components of services previously delivered by Councils. Examples include Glasgow Life, Culture NL, Live Borders, High Life Highland and On Fife.
  • Event Scotland’s work is framed by ‘Scotland the Perfect Stage’, the national events strategy, supporting many cultural events and festivals – locally nationally and events of international significance.
  • Heritage Lottery Fund is the largest dedicated funder of heritage in the UK and play a significant role in supporting people across Scotland to explore, enjoy and protect the heritage they care about.
  • Big Lottery Fund distributes money raised by players of the National Lottery, to help communities to achieve their ambitions and thrive, by awarding grants that bringing communities together including through culture.
  • Public Service Broadcasters like the BBC, including BBC Alba, and the increasing number of streaming services, such as Netflix, provide a platform for cultural content as well as film theatres across Scotland providing new opportunities to view performances of live arts locally.
  • Larger charitable organisations like the National Trust for Scotland, the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, as well as a raft of smaller local trusts and foundations, often have a major impact on local engagement with culture and heritage and in many cases provide the support, financially and in kind, which help to get smaller projects off the ground.
  • Scotland’s culture sector is also supported by private sources of funding including business sponsorship and philanthropic and legacy giving as well as self-funded cultural participation and practice.
  • Volunteering provides significant support by drawing on a wealth of skills and experience from Board level to supporting culture at events and in organisations.
  • There are increasing trends towards new sources of funding and new methods of fund-raising such as crowd funding and co-operative funding models but little is currently know about the current impact or future potential of these sources.


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