Entertainment & Arts

Scots art bodies ordered to 'achieve' more with budget

Artist performs at the launch of the Winter Festivals Programme
Image caption The overall culture budget will be cut by four percent

Creative Scotland has been told to "achieve more" by the Scottish government in return for its 2011/12 budget being frozen.

The body, responsible for arts and film, will see its budget stay at £35.5m, protecting funding for existing organisations.

But there will be little cash available for new requests.

The government estimates creative industries support more than 60,000 jobs and bring £5bn to the economy.

Overall spending on culture and Gaelic bodies will fall from £194.2m to £174.9m.

Minister for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop said: "The tangible outcome of the reduction in our overall budget will be a severely limited ability for the government to respond to requests during the year to support emerging opportunities or new initiatives.

"This lack of flexibility means that almost all cultural spend will be through the organisations we fund and I am challenging them to do more with what they receive and continue to strive for more efficiency."

National savings

Scotland's national companies, which includes the National Theatre of Scotland, Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet, and its collections - which include The National Museums of Scotland - are funded directly by government and will have their budgets cut by 4% next year.

But the Scottish government has said free entry to the national galleries and museums will continue and that it will work with them to achieve this.

Within the Creative Scotland budget £2m has been ringfenced for the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, introduced by the Scottish government in 2007 to help expand the 12 annual arts festivals, and £300,000 to help maximise private investment in the arts.

The budget takes account of the £700,000 savings made when the organisation replaced the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen.

Chairman of Creative Scotland Sir Sandy Crombie said: "'This is a welcome expression of confidence in the contribution that the arts, screen and creative industries will make to securing Scotland's future success."

Meanwhile, in Wales, there will be a 4.6% drop in arts funding over the next three years.

The draft budget by the Assembly Government says that organisations funded by the Arts Council for Wales will also be asked to make a "greater cultural impact" despite a cut in their grants.

There will also be less money for the National Museum and National Library of Wales, but free entrance will remain.

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