MSPs launch inquiry to examine funding for artists across Scotland

MSPs have launched an inquiry into the future of arts funding in Scotland.

It will seek the views of artists, freelancers and arts organisations to help create a sustainable funding model to ensure a “thriving” cultural sector.

Holyrood’s Culture Committee announced it would hold the inquiry following its scrutiny last year of Creative Scotland’s handling of the Regular Funding round for 2018-2021.

It concluded that the current system was struggling to meet the demand for arts and culture funding.

Committee convener, Joan McAlpine MSP, said: “Sustainable funding for the future of the arts is critical to us having a thriving cultural sector that encourages and supports a diverse range of artists.

“The committee took evidence on this issue last year when it looked at the process Creative Scotland undertook for its regular funding and whilst we found specific issues with that process, some of the evidence also raised wider concerns.

“This included the difficulties in accessing public funding and also how the process for regular funding is set up.

“That’s why we now want to hear from as many people in the sector to really get a view of what more can be done to support artists and the wider sector in Scotland for the long term, including what we can learn from other countries.”

As well as considering a sustainable funding model, the inquiry will explore how such funding would be made available to individual artists.

It will also consider what more can be done to address access to and distribution of funding.

Deputy convener, Claire Baker MSP, said: “Public funding for the arts in Scotland is key to supporting a sustainable arts and culture sector. The inquiry will consider how easy it is to access public funding and how effectively it is distributed.

“But we know that there is a demand for arts and culture funding that the current system is struggling to meet.

“We want to try and find out more from the sector if there is anything further that the Scottish Government could do to try and ensure that funding for the arts is sustainable in the long term.”