Scottish Draft Budget 2017-2018: equality statement

An equality assessment of proposed spending plans by ministerial portfolios to accompany the Scottish Draft Budget for 2017 to 2018.

Chapter 12 Culture, Tourism and External Affairs


The Culture, Tourism and External Affairs ( CTEA) 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.

Key Strategic Priorities

The Scottish Government continues 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 development of a national Culture Strategy for Scotland will establish a high-level framework of agreed aims and objectives with the principles of increased access, equity and pursuit of excellence at its core. The Strategy will seek to harness the potential of culture as a means of helping to achieve equality in our society, ensuring that there are equal opportunities for everyone - individuals, artists and cultural producers from all backgrounds - to engage in culture, and that all parts of Scotland are able to benefit from the positive impact of culture.

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.

Equality Implications of the Draft Budget 2017-18

Europe and External Affairs

The protection of budgets for International and European Relations and the British-Irish Council will help Scotland to participate to the fullest extent in negotiations on the UK's future relationship with the EU and its member states. 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 increased commitment to International Development work, with an additional £1 million to £10 million per annum in the International Development Fund and a further £1 million per annum in the new Humanitarian Fund, will enhance international activities which 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.

Our International Development work supports a range of specific equality projects focusing on gender, disability and low-income households, covering health, education, renewable energy, civic governance and economic development. In 2017-18, for example, we will fund training for women from International Conflict Zones to give them the skills and confidence to maximise their contributions to building a safer world by involvement in UN peace processes. We are confident that by placing equality at the heart of our international agenda, our work will have the greatest impact on those who experience disadvantage, both at home and abroad.

Culture, Tourism and Major Events

Creative Scotland and Other Arts supports artistic work which explores and promotes equality and tackles discrimination in Scotland. Organisations funded by the Creative Scotland and Other Arts budget have diverse programmes, and many projects take place in areas of deprivation, targeting those in specific equality groups. For example, participation in Sistema, Scotland's Big Noise orchestra, aims to create permanent social change in some of the most deprived communities in Scotland by fostering confidence, discipline, teamwork, pride and aspiration in the children and young people taking part. Relatively stable funding overall in this budget area will ensure the continuation of a range of initiatives and programmes.

Continued commitment to working with our partners and providing funding support for the themed years programme will ensure focus on and delivery of the themes of the 2018 Year of Young People (participation, education, health and wellbeing, enterprise, equality and tackling discrimination, and culture). A programme of cultural and educational events and activities, co-designed with young people, will also help celebrate Scotland as a great place for young people to grow up in.

Stable levels of funding will allow VisitScotland to build on its inclusive tourism activity by developing a marketing campaign to promote its new Access Guide website and increase the number of Accessibility Guides featured. This will benefit disabled and older people, parents and carers. VisitScotland will also deliver a new programme of industry events that will encourage businesses to work in partnership with local authorities and destination organisations to develop more accessible tourism destinations. It will build on the success of the social tourism pilots which, in 2016, saw almost 1,000 people from disadvantaged backgrounds with a wide range of equality characteristics enjoy an overnight break or day out through generous support from the tourism industry.

National Collections provide free access to the collections for the public. This enables participation for those on low incomes, of whom women, disabled people and some minority ethnic groups are disproportionately represented.

Sustained levels of funding will allow the National Performing Companies to continue to place education and participation at the heart of their core activity to enhance the wellbeing of individuals who participate. A range of initiatives are targeted at young people, for example, the Royal Scottish National Opera Junior Chorus; and outreach programmes such as those run by the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and Scottish Opera, bring productions to local theatres, village halls and community centres across Scotland.

Historic Environment Scotland

Historic Environment Scotland ( HES) will continue its programme of building repair, supporting employment of those with traditional skills and contributing to the regeneration of Scotland's town centres. Also, HES will continue to encourage engagement with, participation in, and enjoyment of, the historic environment and increase the diversity of people accessing it. Evidence from the 2015 Scottish Household Survey [1] shows that older people and disabled people are least likely to go to historical places. This investment aims to address this; and findings from the most recent survey indicate that people in these groups were more likely to undertake such visits than they had been in 2014.

National Records of Scotland

Compared to 2015-16, there is an increase in budget for National Records of Scotland ( NRS). This will support the ongoing design of the 2021 Census. During the course of 2017-18, NRS will be carrying out testing on a range of equality questions, including on the possible inclusion of a question on sexual orientation. In addition, work will start to develop the whole range of systems and services which will be required for the 2021 Census, and NRS will be working with equality groups to ensure that the approaches taken are appropriate and accessible by all.

Additional resources will also support demographic analysis to inform our understanding of the impact on certain protected characteristics in particular areas and other activity, such as the needs of faith and cultural groups as part of the death certification process.


The portfolio area has a key role in enriching quality of life for people in a range of equality groups. 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 current levels of investment to ensure the long-term sustainability of programmes, activities and sites.


Email: Paul Tyrer

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