Scottish Budget 2019-2020: Equality and Fairer Scotland statement

An Equality and Fairer Scotland assessment of proposed spending plans by ministerial portfolios for 2019 to 2020.

Chapter 14 Culture, Tourism and External Affairs


The Culture, Tourism and External Affairs portfolio seeks to promote Scotland's interests at home and abroad through European and International Affairs. It contributes to delivering Scotland's economic ambition by investing in Scotland's unique heritage and culture, as well as its capacity for creativity, tourism and major events.

The Culture, Tourism and External Affairs portfolio has a role to play in enhancing the quality of life for Scotland's communities. This is achieved through widening access to, and participation in, high-quality cultural events and opportunities, and by supporting young people's learning and creativity through engagement with culture and heritage.

Key Strategic Budget Priorities

Promoting Scotland and its interests at home and abroad is a key strategic priority for the Scottish Government. The External Affairs budget will continue to deepen Scotland's relationship with key countries in the pursuit of furthering sustainable economic growth in Scotland, increasing Scotland's profile on the world stage and contributing as a good global citizen towards the achievement of the United Nations (UN) Global Goals (including Goal 10, 'reducing inequality within and among countries'). The budget also supports the attraction of talented and skilled individuals to live, study and work in Scotland.

From 27 June to 19 September 2018 we consulted on a draft Culture Strategy for Scotland that set out a bold and ambitious vision for the future of culture in Scotland. The draft strategy built on extensive engagement with people across Scotland and centred on three ambitions: transforming through culture; empowering through culture and sustaining culture. Independent analysis indicates that there is broad support for the inclusive and democratic approach to culture outlined in the draft strategy and for everyone - regardless of their background, ethnicity or where they live in Scotland - to have an equal opportunity to experience the transformative power of culture. The analysis report will inform the content of the final Culture Strategy, which will be published in 2019 and will shape future action.

We will continue to invest in the arts and culture through Creative Scotland, the National Collections and the National Performing Companies. This helps to ensure that:

  • Scotland's culture reaches a diverse and inclusive audience at home and abroad.
  • All children and young people are encouraged to, and have the chance to, engage in culture; and that this engagement is sustained throughout their lives.
  • Finally, within this portfolio, the Major Events budget will support a strong and inspirational programme of events and festivals each year, including the Solheim Cup in September 2019. These events generate business, create jobs and boost the economy while delivering benefits to all of Scotland's communities and build on our nation's strong reputation and international attractiveness.

The historic environment is a vital part of Scottish heritage and communities and is also hugely important to the Scottish economy. The Scottish Government will work to ensure our diverse and evolving cultural heritage thrives and is celebrated, and that our historic environment and world-class collections are cared for and enjoyed by new and diverse audiences and future generations right across Scotland.

Equality Implications of the Scottish Budget 2019-20

Europe and External Affairs

In 2019-20, funding for the British-Irish Council remains the same as in 2018-19. There has been an increase in the International and European Relations budget to support our increasing international presence and activity. Our relationship with Europe and Scotland's active membership of the British-Irish Council are critical to the delivery of other key strategic goals, including education, health and sustainable economic growth, which all focus on equality outcomes in their delivery.

The International Development Fund and Humanitarian Emergency Fund support international activities that seek to build upon historic and contemporary relationships that exist between Scotland, partner countries and the wider international community. This is in line with our commitment to be a good global citizen, continuing to make distinctive contributions to addressing global challenges. The overall International Development Fund and Humanitarian Emergency Fund budget in 2019-20 will be maintained at 2018-19 levels. These funds support a range of specific equality projects focusing on gender, disability and low income households, covering health, education, renewable energy, civic governance and economic development.

Culture, Tourism and Major Events

Creative Scotland and Other Arts support artistic work that explores and promotes equality and tackles discrimination in Scotland. Continued commitment to Creative Scotland in 2019-20 will ensure organisations can continue to deliver diverse programmes of work that are of particular benefit to equality communities.

In particular, increased resource in this portfolio supported the establishment of Screen Scotland, a dedicated Screen Unit within Creative Scotland. Resource in 2019 will continue to support this unit. In addition to better alignment with, and coordination of, public sector support for the TV and film sector, it will also increase production and inward investment, thus boosting audience, company and skills development, and helping increase diversity in the screen industry.

The Scottish Government's long-standing investment of £118 million since 2007 in the Youth Music Initiative has made a huge impact in helping young people (aged between 0-25 years) across Scotland to access music-making opportunities and develop their wider skills and learning. With support of £9 million in 2019-20, the Youth Music Initiative will continue to boost young people's confidence, self-esteem and personal skills and support the development of skills for wider learning, including literacy, language and numeracy skills and development.

We are committed to early intervention programmes that support our young people, raise attainment, tackle inequality and empower our communities. The launch of the Cultural Youth Experience Fund pilots will be focussed in areas of deprivation, helping young people across Scotland to access cultural opportunities, thus ensuring that location is not a barrier to experiencing the best of Scotland's culture.

The National Performing Companies place education and participation at the heart of their core activity to enhance the wellbeing of individuals who participate. Continued support for the National Performing Companies will ensure a range of initiatives are targeted at young people to increase access to performing arts across Scotland, such as the Royal Scottish National Opera Junior Chorus, and outreach programmes, such as those run by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Scottish Opera.

Continued commitment to working with our partners and providing funding support for the Themed Years programme will continue focus on the legacy of the themes of the Year of Young People 2018 (participation; education; health and wellbeing; enterprise; equality and tackling discrimination; and culture). From 2019, the Themed Years programme will move into a two-yearly cycle. By creating an extended planning and engagement cycle, we can secure greater public, private and third sector support. The Year of Coasts and Waters 2020 will sustain and build upon the momentum of the preceding Themed Years to spotlight, celebrate and promote opportunities to experience and enjoy Scotland's unrivalled Coasts and Waters, encouraging responsible engagement and participation from the people of Scotland and our visitors. This will include developing communications and content to drive visitors to a wide range of experiences across the country and promoting new, unique or lesser known tourism product offerings. Critically, teams will work in partnership to identify opportunities to engage with our diverse communities to encourage the broadest representation of our 2020 themes. Our Coasts and Waters are vital elements of our landscape and are greatly valued by communities and visitors alike. Scotland's Coasts and Waters have shaped our history: from fishing and textiles to whisky and wave power, they have influenced our culture, our stories and our way of life.

Tourism is a key sector for Scotland's economy and the latest strategic guidance for VisitScotland highlights the need for the organisation to embed equality and to actively promote this in everything it does. Funding for VisitScotland in 2019-20 will be maintained at 2018-19 levels. This will support them to deliver their key role in ensuring Scotland is an inclusive, welcoming destination, collaborating with the industry in the delivery of several inclusive tourism projects and assisting tourism businesses to promote and provide both quality customer service and access for the inclusive tourism market. VisitScotland will continue to work with the industry and the Family Holiday Association via ScotSpirit to provide vulnerable and disadvantaged families in Scotland a short break or day out which they otherwise would not have had.

Our work with the £6 million Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund - which saw £3.2 million of projects announced in October 2018 - will continue to provide for the services and facilities tourists and communities need to support sustainable growth in rural tourism across Scotland.

We will work with partners to realise the Programme for Government ambition to encourage more fair work practices across the sector including increasing the number of businesses paying the Living Wage, excluding exploitative zero-hours contracts and improving gender-equal pay.

Scottish Government support to the National Museums Scotland, National Galleries of Scotland and National Library of Scotland to provide free public access to the collections will continue in 2019-20, with additional funding provided to help the National Collections to deliver the pay policy. Continued support for the National Collections to provide free access will be of particular benefit to those on low incomes, of whom women, disabled people and some minority ethnic groups are disproportionately represented.

Historic Environment Scotland

Historic Environment Scotland cares for and promotes Scotland's historic environment, providing support for heritage building repairs, employment for those with traditional building skills, and contribution to the regeneration of Scotland's town centres. Historic Environment Scotland also encourages engagement with, participation in, and enjoyment of the historic environment and increases the diversity of people accessing it. The Historic Environment Scotland 'Equality Outcomes and Mainstreaming Report' outlines how it is working to deliver its public sector equality duties and sets out four equality outcomes it aims to achieve by April 2021. Due to Historic Environment Scotland's capacity to generate additional income, budget reductions for Historic Environment Scotland should not have significant negative impacts on older people and disabled people who are the groups least likely to visit historical places. Historic Environment Scotland Access Policy for Properties in Care seeks to address the needs of groups who are less able to access the properties.

National Records of Scotland

There has been an increased budget for National Records of Scotland since 2017-18 to support the on-going design of the 2021 Census. During the course of 2018-19, National Records of Scotland will continue testing on a range of equality questions, including questions on sexual orientation and transgender status/history, which are being proposed to be asked in 2021 on a voluntary basis. Work will continue around the responses to the sex question, balancing the need for an inclusive question with the need for outputs which are useful for service providers. Consultation and testing will also continue around the response options for ethnicity and religion to ensure that the response options are acceptable to respondents and that the data provided can inform equality monitoring and policy development.

Work will continue on the development of the range of systems and services required for the 2021 Census. As part of that work, testing will be ongoing to ensure that paper and internet versions of the census questionnaire are easy to complete and comply with accessibility guidelines. National Records of Scotland will be working with equality groups to further develop approaches to public assistance to ensure that everyone is enabled to take part in the Census. All of the elements of running the census will be tested in October 2019 in a large-scale test, which will provide vital feedback to ensure that the Census works for everyone in Scotland.

Work will continue across Registration Services in Scotland, delivered by local authorities, to collect improved information on ethnicity as part of the death registration process. The ability to produce accurate death rates broken down by ethnicity will be a huge step forward in helping understand the differential outcomes for people from different ethnic backgrounds. Working with Scottish Government, National Records of Scotland will be continuing to plan for the implications of potential changes to the Gender Recognition process, to the potential recognition of non-binary people, aspects of registration germane to intersex people and also options for the future of civil partnerships in Scotland.


This portfolio has a key role in enriching people's quality of life across a range of protected characteristics. Where budgets are protected or increased, this helps to enhance access to, and participation in, Scotland's culture and heritage. It will be important to maintain appropriate levels of investment to ensure the long-term sustainability of programmes, activities and sites.


Email: Liz Hawkins

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