Review into Creative Scotland funding following ‘challenging’ year

Creative Scotland will conduct an extensive review of its operations following a year described as “challenging”.

The arts body has received heavy criticism over its funding decisions and chief executive, Janet Archer, resigned from the job in July.

A review will cover the organisation of Creative Scotland and will examine in full its current funding models – regular funding, open project funding and targeted funding.

Creative Scotland staff and applicant organisations and representatives from the creative sectors will be included in the process.

The review will aim to establish an effective balance between the different models of funding.

Initial work has examined funding models established by the arts council in England and Wales, as well as models internationally.

Documentation will be prepared at the conclusion of the report and sent out for consultation.

Creative Scotland say they will provide ongoing business delivery to deliver current funding routes and communicate proposed new models at the conclusion of the review.

Iain Munro, the acting chief executive, acknowledged the organisation would have to rebuild its reputation.

He said: “The organisation is not fundamentally broken. There are many positive things that our organisation continues to support and deliver.

“At the heart of this is the human relationships that we have with people, it’s fundamental.

“These reviews are about taking quite a comprehensive stock of the situation across a whole range of areas to reset the organisation.

“But that’s not a blank sheet of paper, I wouldn’t want us to overlook the fact that we do have some very positive things that we’re doing.”

Mr Munro also said Creative Scotland would look to address concerns that less funding is being provided to individuals outwith Edinburgh and Glasgow.

North Ayrshire received £192,000 of grant funding in 2016/2017 – 1% of the £19 million awarded to Glasgow.

Glasgow and Edinburgh received 60% of funding awarded – over £40 million out of a total £66 million in Scotland.

Mr Munro said he is hopeful Creative Scotland will be in a position to open a new film studio in 2019/2020, with plans ongoing to develop a screen hub.

An independent company, Open Change, based in Dundee, was appointed to support the organisational review over the next six months.

Creative Scotland chair Robert Wilson, who took up the role in February, said it was the right time to evaluate the state of the organisation.

He said: “This has been a challenging time for Creative Scotland and when I came in, it became clear that there were some fundamental changes that we needed to instigate.

“This is an extremely impressive organisation, but clearly there are aspects of it that need to be improved.

“This is a perfect time to look at an organisation to see where the strengths are, to see where the weaknesses are and to see how we can improve and move on in a much stronger way.”

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