White Paper: Culture, communities and digital

Culture and heritage are already devolved, but the Scottish government sees it as an enduring and powerful asset to be developed under independence.

After independence, the key areas of culture communications and digital policy include:

  • Establishing a Scottish Broadcasting Service (SBS) - initially founded on staffing and resources of BBC Scotland - providing TV, radio and online. It would inherit a proportionate share of the BBC's commercial ventures, including BBC Worldwide Ltd, BBC Studios and Productions Ltd and BBC News Ltd, and of associated ongoing profits.
  • There would be a formal relationship between BBC and SBS to supply the same level of network programming - like Doctor Who or Eastenders - in return for access to BBC services in Scotland. Continued commissioning and co-production with SBS and other parts of production sector in Scotland would occur.
  • Current TV licence fee and exemptions would be retained. SBS budget would be £345m - including £320m from licence share, £13m from BBC commercial profits and £12m from Scottish government for Gaelic broadcasting. There would be no requirement for advertising revenue. And the SBS would begin broadcasting on December 31st 2016.
  • Existing licences for broadcasters in Scotland would be fully honoured - including Channel 3 and Channel 5 licences which are renewed to 2025. The Channel 4 licence is also likely to be renewed untill 2025.
  • There would be a push for increased TV production from Scotland, in line with size of population. And an increase in productions that reflect Scots and life in Scotland.
  • Royal Mail would be brought back into public ownership with a commitment to existing service levels. Regulation would be transferred from Ofcom to a Scottish regulator.
  • Improve geographic coverage in telecommunications, particularly in remote rural areas. Continuation of £410m Step Change programme to improve digital infrastructure. Ensure new spectrum licences deliver to rural, as well urban communities. Explore possibilities of setting higher obligations.
  • National Lottery to continue in Scotland, with Camelot retaining licence as operator. Decisions about the distribution of Good Cause money to be made in Scotland.
  • Continued support for all areas of culture currently supported, including promotion of Gaelic language through Bòrd na Gàidhlig and MG ALBA.
  • Explore a VAT reduction on repairs and maintenance work of historic buildings.
  • Development of a Scottish overseas diplomatic and trade network to promote Scottish culture and traditions.
  • Encourage investment in film and television production in Scotland. Promote Scotland as a location for film and television production. Consider fiscal incentives and further investment in infrastructure and training.

More Scotland stories


Scotland Live

    07:53: End of poll tax debts approved in principle

    Plans to end the collection of poll tax debts in Scotland have been approved in principle by the Scottish Parliament.

    Poll tax

    The community charge debt bill was passed by 96 votes to 14, although it still faces two further stages of scrutiny before becoming law. Some councils are opposed to the legislation.

    07:41: Scotland's papers

    Andy Murray's fiancée Kim Sears features on many of the front pages as he secured his place in the Australian Open final. What the papers say.

    07:34: More snow falls overnight

    Eddie Ross, BEAR Scotland's North West Operating Company Representative, says: ''The North West and North East Trunk Roads have experienced intermittent snow showers throughout the night on most routes.

    A835 at Altguish near Garve in Highlands

    "Our winter teams have worked throughout the night and the Trunk Roads in North West and North East are clear and currently have no issues.

    ''We will continue to monitor weather conditions and patrol and treat routes as necessary throughout this period of winter weather. We encourage motorists to check travel updates before setting out, prepare for their journeys and drive with care as these wintery conditions are set to continue into next week."

    newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk 07:27: Your Pictures

    Neil Cameron sent this image of a sunset on Loch Linnhe taken from Camusnagaul ferry.

    Sunset on Loch Linnhe

    Email your pictures to newsonlinescotland@bbc.co.uk

    You can also tell us what you think of the week's pictures on the BBC Scotland News facebook page.

    07:18: BBC Scotland Travel Latest

    Roads: A77 Girvan road is described as "just passable" because of snow between Girvan and Stranraer; the road was closed from 9 last night till just after midnight.

    A risk of ice wherever there's been a bit of thaw, especially on side roads.

    Trains: No reported problems

    Ferries: Cal Mac- No sailings to and from Lewis-(Ullapool -Stornoway). Tomorrow's sailings are on amber alert.

    Northlink- Possible disruption between Aberdeen and Lerwick.

    07:10: Firefighter deaths 'should have been prevented'

    The deaths of some firefighters in the UK since 2004 "could and should have been prevented", a report has said.

    Building on fire

    The report - commissioned by the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) - looked into 14 deaths of firefighters in the last 10 years and warned "good practice" had sometimes been ignored.

    Research was carried out at the University of Stirling.

    07:04: More snow and ice forecast

    The Met Office has issued yellow "be aware" warnings for snow and ice across Scotland this morning.

    Snowy composite

    The warnings will also remain in place for northern and western regions of the country for Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

    Showers of sleet and hail are also expected, with between 1-3cm of further snow at lower levels.

    The A77 Girvan to Stranraer road was described as "just passable" due to snow.

    07:00: Good morning Sandy Murray BBC Scotland news

    Hullo and welcome to Scotland Live on Friday.

    If you are driving anywhere this morning, leave enough time to clear your car windows. Like I should have done.

    Throughout the day, we will keep you up to date with the latest weather, travel, news and sport.



  • SnowIn pictures

    Images of the snow which has fallen across many parts of Scotland

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    French teachers on the front line after Charlie Hebdo attack

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    What really goes on in a care home?

  • Baby in boxStrange case

    The remarkable appeal of the Finnish baby boxes

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