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Scottish First Minister Commits to Doubling Funding For Arts and Culture Over Next Five Years

The MU welcomes the news, which offers hope of a more secure future at a time when UK cultural institutions are struggling with rising costs and jobs. We look forward to further details on the proposals.

Published: 18 October 2023 | 12:52 PM
Photo of the centre of Aberdeen, the City where this years 2023 SNP conference was held
“This has been an incredibly difficult period for our members in the face of a cost of living crisis, the impact of Brexit and the after effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.” Photo credit: Shutterstock

At the SNP conference, which was held this year in Aberdeen, there was welcome news for the arts and culture sector in Scotland, when Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf announced the intention to double SNPs investment in Scotland’s arts and culture over the next five years:

“I want to send a clear signal today about my ambition for culture in Scotland. We’re not just going to protect our arts funding. We’re not just going to increase it in line with inflation. No delegates, we’re going to go further than that. I can announce today that over the next five years we will more than double our investment in Scotland’s arts and culture.

“This means that by the end of the five years, our investment will be £100m higher than it is today. This is a huge vote of confidence in the future of our culture sector and in the vital work of bodies like Screen Scotland, Creative Scotland and our festivals.

“Delegates, if politics is about choices, I choose to ensure that Scotland’s arts and culture are supported to grow at home, and be seen across the world.”

The news comes during an incredibly challenging time for musicians

Sam Dunkley, MU Regional Organiser for Scotland & Northern Ireland, welcomed the news and stated that he hoped that the release of further details would provide assurance on job security and pay rises for members in Scotland:

“The Musicians’ Union is pleased to hear the renewed commitment of First Minister Humza Yousaf to double Scottish Government funding for arts and culture over the next 5 years.

“This has been an incredibly difficult period for our members in the face of a cost of living crisis, the impact of Brexit and the after effects of the Covid-19 pandemic making it a challenging time for musicians and others working in arts and culture.

“We look forward to seeing the detail of the proposals, and hope that this additional funding will ensure that our members working for National Performing Companies, Regularly Funded Organisations, YMI schemes and on so many other projects funded by Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government have the security, and the pay rise, that they so desperately need.”

The live performance sector needs more investment in all the UK Nations

MU General Secretary Naomi Pohl also commented on the positive news, and the need for more investment across the UK Nations:

"At a time when cultural institutions across the UK are struggling with rising costs and jobs and opportunities for musicians are under threat, this news offers hope of a more secure future. Increased funding will enable organisations to plan and grow.

We urgently need more investment in all the UK Nations. The live performance sector is crucial to tourism, boosts the economy and supports the health and wellbeing of audience members. There is no down-side to supporting the UK's vibrant arts scene!"

The MU continues to call on all UK Nations to commit to investment in Arts and Culture.

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