Creative Scotland boss 'profoundly sorry' over funding row

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image captionJanet Archer told MSPs that there would be a "root and branch review" of funding mechanisms

The boss of Creative Scotland has told MSPs she is "profoundly sorry" about a row over funding for arts groups.

The organisation was heavily criticised over recent funding decisions, which saw board members resign in protest.

Support to five groups was subsequently reinstated, but there were calls for the group to overhaul its processes.

Chief executive Janet Archer told Holyrood's culture committee that lessons would be learned, saying that "we can't let this happen again".

She said there would be a "root and branch review" of how funding decisions are taken.

Creative Scotland sets funding for arts groups on a three-year cycle. While it announced funding for 116 groups in January, it came under fire for pulling the plug on 20 organisations - including theatre, music and disabled arts groups.

The controversy saw two board members quit in protest, and cash for five of the groups restored after an emergency board meeting.

'No excuses'

Ms Archer told the committee: "I'm profoundly sorry that the delivery of this process has been a negative one for many and we can't let this happen again.

"I will make sure that we learn from this moment and resolve all the outstanding issues fairly and openly."

MSPs were critical of the decision-making process, with convener Joan McAlpine saying "there were really no excuses but you went ahead anyway".

Ms Archer replied: "I completely appreciate and recognise that the regular funding process has been more challenging this time round than it needed to be, both for those applying and for our staff.

"We understand that this final stage of the process has created real difficulties.

"None of us want to relive that experience in three years time, and that is why we are committed to a root and branch review of how we fund. We will importantly do this in collaboration with the people and organisations that we fund."

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