A plan for Scotland: the Scottish Government's programme for Scotland 2016-2017
The Scottish Government's Programme for Government 2016 to 2017 sets out the actions we will take in the forthcoming year and beyond.
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5 Scotland on the World Stage
Fiona Hyslop MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs
Scotland believes in internationalism, the need to work with other nations, institutions and organisations to contribute to the success of the global community. As Scotland's ambitions grow, so does the importance of our country's international reputation. We will engage with a range of countries and regions, strengthening relationships and promoting Scotland on the international stage to boost our trade and investment, influence and networks.
In the recent referendum Scotland voted to stay in the European Union and connected to our European partners. Scotland voted to retain free movement of people and to stay part of the single market. Of 32 council areas in Scotland every single one judged we would be better off in the EU.
Nevertheless, the divergent result in the UK means the very real prospect of Scotland now being taken out of the EU against our will. The First Minister has described it as 'democratically unacceptable' and pledged to do all she can to secure Scotland's relationship with, and place in, Europe.
We continue to strengthen and enhance Scotland's reputation on the world stage, striving to be a leader in specific areas such as climate change, procurement and equality. We have distinct views on issues of importance to the international community. We have a proven ability to host high-profile, international events and policy summits built on Scotland's innate appeal as a place to visit and do business.
We work constructively with countries and institutions across the world, including with the US, Canada, China, Japan, India and Pakistan and focus our activities to ensure they contribute to our over-arching objective of sustainable economic growth. Crucially, we have embedded a 'One Scotland' approach to our international engagement - working in partnership with the wider public sector, institutions, business and communities, as well as overseas partners - to fully realise our international potential and secure our international objectives. Our Innovation and Investment Hubs in London, Dublin and Brussels will encapsulate this approach and enhance Scotland's profile and reputation.
Scotland voted to stay in the European Union and connected to our European partners
To highlight the Government's commitment to reform on the international stage, we are working with the Open Government Partnership ( OGP) to develop a Scottish national action plan to be published this winter. It will set out concrete commitments on openness, transparency and the involvement of people and communities in the decisions that affect their lives. Scotland has been granted pioneer status because of its leadership role in OGP reform and innovation.
We also increasingly shape our view of international development through the lens of the 'Beyond Aid' agenda to help make a difference. This means going beyond aid to include trade, migration, investment, environmental issues, security and technology, to shape the development prospects for many countries.
We have committed to the UN's Sustainable Development Goals ( SDGs) and will play our part in working to achieve them by 2030.
The Scottish Government seeks to influence issues that matter most in helping Scotland flourish through a dual commitment to tacking poverty and inequality at home while helping overseas countries grow in a fair and sustainable manner.
Domestic and global challenges are interlinked. Scotland cannot act with credibility overseas if we are blind to inequality at home. Our ambitions for a fairer Scotland are undermined without global action to tackle poverty, promote prosperity and address climate change.
Scotland's global reputation is enhanced by our support for arts and culture. The Edinburgh International Festival, celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2017, and the Edinburgh Fringe which are world-renowned flagship events that generate tremendous cultural energy and activity, not just in summer but throughout the year, captivating people in Edinburgh, Scotland and the world over.
Our support for the arts is rooted in the understanding that culture is fundamental to wellbeing and quality of life. Our national museums and galleries attract 25 million visitors annually, every one of them benefiting from free entrance. Through Creative Scotland, local authorities and our national performing companies, public support for the arts brings benefits to cultural organisations, projects and festivals across the country. The social, cultural and economic value this provides for individuals, families and communities should not be underestimated.
We are closely involved in the BBC Charter renewal process and have set out a compelling case for transformation of the BBC that we believe will deliver better outcomes for audiences and Scotland's creative sector.
We will engage with a range of countries and regions, strengthening relationships and promoting Scotland on the international stage to boost our trade and investment, influence and networks
Standard Life Opening Event: Deep Time
Edinburgh International Festival 2016
Photo: Mihaela Bodlovic
An increased £10 million per annum International Development Fund (IDF) from Spring 2017
A new £1 million per annum Humanitarian Aid Fund from spring 2017
Renewal of our historic partnership agreement with the Government of Malawi which is based on 150 years of shared history and friendship, and promotes the enduring values of tolerance, fairness and equality and the sharing of experiences and skills for mutual benefit
Scotland's commitment to global citizenship and delivering the First Minister's support of the UN Global Goals will be pursued through:
- an increased £10 million per annum International Development Fund ( IDF) from Spring 2017, to continue to take action to help tackle poverty and inequalities in relation to the world's poorest and most vulnerable. This includes funding the Small Grants Programme designed to support smaller Non-Governmental Organisations ( NGOs) deliver assistance to some of the world's most vulnerable communities. This will strengthen the third sector in Scotland and create more opportunities for people to get involved in quality development work overseas
- a new £1 million per annum humanitarian aid fund from spring 2017, enabling us to continue to respond to the increasing number of rapidly emerging international humanitarian crises. Scotland already makes a significant contribution through our NGOs and individuals but Scottish Ministers have also made contributions on a number of occasions since 2009 including most recently the refugee situation in Europe and the Nepal earthquake, to reflect Scotland's role as a good global citizen and caring nation
- renewal of our historic partnership agreement with the Government of Malawi which is based on 150 years of shared history and friendship and promotes the enduring values of toleranceand promotes the enduring values of tolerance, fairness and equality and the sharing of experiences and skills for mutual benefit
- funding of training for at least 50 women every year from International Conflict Zones to give them the skills and confidence to maximise their contribution to building a safer world by involvement in UN peace processes. We have already committed £365,000 in the current financial year so that a total of 50 women will have been trained by spring next year
- increasing the Climate Justice Fund to at least £3 million a year for the next five years for international projects where the worst impact of climate change is falling on poor and vulnerable communities
In support of our international objectives and our over-arching purpose of sustainable economic growth we will:
- publish new US and Canada country plans in 2016 which will reflect our revised priorities in North America
- strengthen and deepen our engagement with Japan, China, India and Pakistan, with a focus on education, business and culture
- fund the Nordic Horizons group and participate in the Arctic Circle Assembly in October 2016
- promote Scotland and our international engagement through Ministerial visits
We will commence work on a National Culture Strategy which will be based on the principles of access, equality and excellence. Engagement with partners has started in the last month and the Strategy will be developed collaboratively over the coming year. It will build on the existing strengths of the cultural and creative sector to:
- improve meaningful access to culture and the arts for all of Scotland's people so that more people enjoy more forms of culture more regularly than at present
- enhance the vital role of arts and culture in empowering communities, organisations and individuals helping to tackle discrimination and promote equality
- help artists and cultural organisations across the country to maintain and further improve the quality of their work
- encourage sustainable and inclusive growth
We will publish new U.S. and Canada country plans in 2016 which will reflect our revised priorities in North America
We will invest £450,000 in the Public Library Improvement Fund
We will maintain free access to National Galleries and Museums so that enjoying the nation's treasures does not depend on personal wealth. We will continue to deliver the International Touring Fund and we will work to enhance the Edinburgh Festival Expo Fund ahead of the International Festival's 70th anniversary.
We will invest £450,000 in the Public Library Improvement Fund to support innovative ways for people to use public libraries. A pilot area will be selected by the Scottish Library and Information Council in the next year to try out a new single library card that is a passport to great reading.
We will ensure young people have greater access to cultural opportunities - for example by refreshing the Youth Music Initiative and supporting
Sistema Scotland's orchestra projects in places such as Govanhill, Raploch and Torry. During the next year we will begin preparatory work with partners for establishing a Youth Experience Fund, so that all primary schools have the opportunity to visit Scotland's theatres, museums, galleries and historic estates.
Every year we will fund training and capacity building for at least fifty women from International Conflict Zones ensuring they have the skills and confidence to maximise their contribution to building a safer world
We will continue to support our cultural infrastructure - for example in the coming year we will invest to deliver improved public facilities, including further new investment at the Scottish National Gallery, and enhanced digital access to collection. We will also continue with our investment in the V&A Museum of Design in Dundee, the National Library of Scotland Causewayside refurbishment in Edinburgh and a further contribution to Kelvin Hall in Glasgow. Working with Historic Environment Scotland and partners, we will begin work on developing a long-term Infrastructure Investment Plan for restoring, enhancing and conserving our built heritage to support our tourism industry and to continue to provide a world class experience for visitors.
To better support our flourishing creative industries, we will establish a Creative Industries Advisory Board by the end of this year to advise Ministers and act as a strategic forum.
The recent arrival of 1,000 Syrian refugees enriches our society and fosters the kind of community cohesion that binds this country together. We will continue to work with our partners to implement the 'New Scots' refugee integration strategy to make sure refugees have access to support services that will help them integrate and contribute to Scottish society, and to deliver the Syrian Resettlement Programme.
We welcome the arrival of 1,000 Syrian refugees
We will work with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities ( COSLA) to represent the interests of refugees being resettled in Scotland and the local authorities which are receiving them. As part of this work, we will deliver a number of projects to support their integration, including a pilot of a new assets based approach to English language learning. We will also ensure a simplified crisis grant fund for refugee families who settle here under Family Reunion rules.
We will work with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA) to represent the interests of refugees being resettled in Scotland
Media and broadcasting
The priority for Scotland's screen and creative industries sector is to deliver growth in production activity, generating more and higher quality job opportunities and enhancing sustainable economic impact.
To enhance its support for the screen sector, a dedicated screen unit will be set up within Creative Scotland in the next year. It will combine expertise from our creative and enterprise partners and oversee support, increasing inward investment and helping development, production and distribution.
We will continue to support the Production Growth Fund, currently standing at £1.75 million, which has to date helped fund four major productions in Scotland, guaranteeing an economic impact of at least £4 for every £1 paid out. We will continue to work with our private sector partners to support the delivery of permanent additional studio space.
We continue to make a strong case for the decentralisation of the BBC. We want to see editorial and commissioning control shifted to Scotland, we want to see a fair share of the licence fee raised in Scotland, spent in Scotland and increased content made in Scotland for both local and network consumption.
Tourism and major events
We will continue to work to make all of Scotland a destination of first choice for visitors from around the world. As part of this, working with VisitScotland and other partners, we will develop the further promotion of the south of Scotland as a visitor destination.
Our vision, as set out in the revised National Events Strategy published last year, is for Scotland's reputation as the perfect stage for events to be recognised nationally and internationally. We are committed to building on the legacy of the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup in 2014 and we will continue to work to bring major events to Scotland and to support the development of a flourishing events industry. Major events bring significant economic and cultural benefit to the communities in which they are staged, but can also boost tourism across Scotland as a whole. During the term of this Parliament we will invest:
- up to £63 million on the 2018 European Championships
- up to £19 million on the 2019 Solheim Cup
- up to £3.5 million on the UEFA Euro 2020 Championships
- £1.7 million each year on the Scottish Open and Ladies Scottish Open
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