Cuts: Scotland Freezes Arts Budget for 2011/12Date: 17 November 2010
Whilst English arts organisations look down the barrel of substantial funding cuts, with the Arts Council England's budget slashed by 29.6% resulting in a 14.9% reduction in funding to companies, the Scottish Government has today released its budget, with funding to Creative Scotland frozen at its current level for 2011.
Creative Scotland, the body created by the amalgamation of Scottish Arts Council and Screen Scotland, will have its core budget of £35.5 million maintained for the 2011 to 2012 financial year, with a Government saying it recognised "significant efficiencies have already been made through moving to a single arts and culture body."
Organisations which are not funded by Creative Scotland but draw funding directly from the Scottish Government - including the National Theatre of Scotland, Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet, the RSNO and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra - will have their budgets cut by 4%. This cut will also impact the National collections, however the government has stated it is keen to preserve free entry to museums.
The Scottish Festivals Expo Fund, established in 2008, which helps Scottish artists maximise the benefit the international festivals will be extended for an extra year, with £2 million being made accessible to Edinburgh’s 12 festivals. The £300,000 budget ring-fenced for Arts and Business Scotland has also been protected, as has the Cultural Enterprise Office, with the Holyrood Government hoping the organisations will "maximise private sector investment in the arts".
Both moves contrast ACE's approach, which withdrew funding from special projects funds supporting organisations such as the biennial Manchester International Festival. Arts Council England also announced that its support for Arts and Business, as well as other organisations which did not directly deliver front line artistic output would be wound down.
Speaking after the budget's announcement Fiona Hyslop, the Scottish culture minister, said: “We are prioritising spending to minimise the impact on key cultural organisations. Our support for the creative industries, tourism and high-quality cultural experiences will help to secure economic recovery.”