Creative Scotland launches 10-year plan to 'unlock potential'

Video camera operator More than 1,000 people working in the creative industry were consulted on Creative Scotland's new scheme

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A 10-year plan and revamped funding approach for Scotland's creative industries have been announced.

Creative Scotland said the new model would "unlock the potential" of the country's arts, screen and creative industries.

Funding processes have been made simpler, with just three streams for applications rather than 300.

More than 1,000 leading artists and organisations were asked for their input on the scheme.

The vision sets out "clear ambitions" for the future, according to the agency's chief executive Janet Archer.

New phase

Information sessions will be held across the country to explain the details of the plan.


Funding has long been a source of tension between those who ask for the money and those who hold the purse strings. It's not a new problem for Creative Scotland, but the last attempt to change the system resulted in a very public row and the resignation of its CEO.

This time round, they're keen to stress they're listening to artists and arts organisations. Over a thousand were consulted in a series of sessions around the country. The result: a new website, simpler guidance, and a choice of three funding pots, instead of 300. The first, which offers regular funding on a three year basis, goes live tomorrow.

Film will still have a separate ringfenced budget but, in theory, it should be simpler and quicker to apply for funding, whatever your art form.

So far, many organisations have given a quiet nod of approval and see it as a step in the right direction. But there'll be further consultation across the country over the next three months - so if there are complaints, they can be heard.

But the bottom line is that in a vibrant, culturally rich country like Scotland, there are always going to be more projects than money. And part of the task for Creative Scotland is to be able to say no as well as yes, in a clear, fair and totally transparent way.

The high-profile announcement was billed as being a new phase for Creative Scotland.

It follows complaints that the funding body was over-complicated and bureaucratic and a public row about funding, which resulted in the resignation of the previous chief executive.

Named Unlocking Potential, Embracing Ambition the new scheme sets out five targets that will frame the work of Creative Scotland over the next 10 years, underpinned by a set of 15 priorities which will be immediate targets for the next three years.

Janet Archer, Creative Scotland's chief executive, said: "Today marks an important moment for the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland.

"I'm delighted to launch the 10-year plan which sets out a vision and a set of clear ambitions for arts and creativity in Scotland.

"I'm particularly pleased that the plan has effectively been 'crowdsourced' - bringing together more than 1,000 voices from across the arts, screen and creative industries."

She added: "Our plan is bold and it is vital that we work in partnership with people and organisations across Scotland to deliver its ambition."

The agency has also outlined a funding programme to deliver "stable" three-year support for organisations and a simplified website has been designed to make it easier for artists to apply for funding.

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said the plan "sets out a vision and ambition for the arts, screen and creative industries that we can all work towards".

She added: "Importantly, the plan has not been developed in isolation - nearly 1,000 people and organisations from across Scotland and from across the arts, screen and creative industries contributed to its development through open consultation and dialogue."

Creative Scotland will host a series of nine information sessions across the country to help anyone in the arts hear about the strategy and learn about funding.

The sessions will be in Inverness, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Stornoway, Birnam in Perthshire, Dundee, Shetland, Aberdeen and Peebles.

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