Funding of the arts and heritage

Written evidence submitted by Creative Scotland (arts 225)


1. Creative Scotland, the new national development body for the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland, was launched on 1 July 2010. Creative Scotland took over the functions and resources of Scottish Screen and the Scottish Arts Council but also has a wider set of responsibilities for developing the sector.

2. Creative Scotland is committed to investing in and developing the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland and playing a lead role in promoting the value and importance of these to everyone. 

3. We welcome the opportunity to respond to the Committee’s inquiry, Creative Scotland’s remit is largely devolved to the Scottish Parliament and therefore many of the questions are not of direct relevance to our situation. However, we are a distributor of National Lottery funds and have answered the questions where relevant.

What impact recent changes to the distribution of National Lottery funds will have on arts and heritage organisations;

4. Creative Scotland of course welcomes any increase in National Lottery investment.   We welcome the re-alignment of the National Lottery funds to its original percentage spread of Lottery Good Causes money, increasing the amount available for the arts and film. This will enable us to increase public benefit through added investment in areas such as access and participation, capital infrastructure and film production.

5. We would want to ensure that the existing proportions between arts and film investment are used as the starting point for any future proportions, with the opportunity to be flexible as necessary.

6. We would however want to ensure that there is no decrease in investment from UK wide Lottery distributors in Scotland as a result of these changes, including from the UK Film Council and its successor body/ies.

7. However, it is vitally important that this increase in Lottery revenue is not used to replace public spending cuts elsewhere (either from within CS or any partners, eg. local authorities). Lottery funding cannot replace a sustained commitment to investing in talent and nurturing creative risk. Government funding allows organisations to look ahead with ambition. It allows organisations to invest in inspirational arts and creative activity that the National Lottery or philanthropic giving may shy away from.  Any cut in culture spending would have a wholly disproportionate impact in relation to its contribution to society.

Whether the policy guidelines for National Lottery funding need to be reviewed

8. The policy guidelines for the Scottish Arts Council are directed by Scottish Ministers however we support the Scottish Governments policy to seek a dedicated Lottery support for Glasgow 2014, separate from existing distributors’ funds, as per the Lottery support for the London 2012 Olympics and Paralympics.

The impact of recent changes to DCMS arm's-length bodies - in particular the abolition of the UK Film Council and the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council

9. We believe the priority now is to ensure the UK government confirms its commitment to the UK film industry and guarantees that the necessary support structures and investment are available for filming in the UK continue long-term.

Whether businesses and philanthropists can play a long-term role in funding arts at a national and local level

10. The majority of cultural organisations already operate on a financial model benefiting from some degree of business / philanthropic support and box office/earned income alongside public subsidy. Although this support is important it is dependent on the organisation having a strong core business model and a high quality creative product. Business and philanthropic support can not be seen as a potential replacement for public investment, rather it must be seen as complementary.

11. Some organisations are far better placed than others to attract business and philanthropic support and such support is normally not available for individual artists and micro businesses within the creative industries. All creative organisations work hard to maximise the sponsorship opportunities available to them, however, in these difficult financial times securing sponsorship has become increasingly challenging, in some cases previously long-term funding arrangements are being wound up and securing new sponsors is increasingly difficult.

Whether there need to be more Government incentives to encourage private donations.

12. Any incentives to attract further private donations to the arts would be welcomed ideally the incentives would be about long term strategic partnerships.

September 2010