Creative Scotland restores funding to five companies

Image source, Mihaela Bodlovic
Image caption,
Birds of Paradise's production of the Tin Solider was staged in Edinburgh in December

Creative Scotland is to reinstate funding for five companies after a row over the decision to axe their financial support.

Birds of Paradise, Lung Ha, Catherine Wheels, Visible Fictions and the Dunedin Consort will now be funded for the next three years.

The move, which was agreed at an emergency board meeting on Friday, will involve additional funding of £2.6m.

The five companies are among 20 which had been due to lose their cash.

Creative Scotland said the move would not affect the 116 organisations which had already been awarded funding.

Edinburgh-based theatre company Stellar Quines, which had faced a 22% cut, will see its budget returned to its previous level.

The decision to halt the funding for some organisations sparked a backlash last month.

'Extremely challenging'

Disability rights activists raised concerns about the future of Glasgow-based Birds of Paradise, Scotland's only professional disability-led arts organisation, and the Edinburgh-based Lung Ha Theatre company, which works with people with learning disabilities.

Board members Ruth Wishart and Maggie Kinloch then stepped down in protest at the lack of time given to discuss which groups should be funded.

The other 15 organisations who will lose their funding include theatre companies NVA and Fire Exit, as well as the Ayr Gaiety and the Fringe Society.

They have said that the move raises issues about Creative Scotland and its funding process.

Ben Thomson, the interim chairman of Creative Scotland, said these decisions were always "extremely challenging".

"We have listened to the extensive and constructive feedback we received from many individuals and organisations working across the arts and culture in Scotland," he said.

"We have reviewed our budget for regular funding and, within the limits of the alternative funds available to us, we have been able to re-allocate £2.6m over three years, allowing us to include five further arts-producing organisations in the network.

"We have also reaffirmed our commitment to other funding, which will include touring; equalities, diversity and inclusion; and new support for artist-led work."