The country’s public arts body has been accused of “navel gazing” in the central belt after figures showed no Creative Scotland jobs had been made outside Glasgow and Edinburgh.
Figures from a freedom of information release show only one job had been created outside of Edinburgh since 2018, which was in Glasgow.
The Scottish Conservatives, who conducted the information request, said the SNP and Creative Scotland are not reflective of the country’s artistic achievements.
Art funding awarded
Although Creative Scotland does not employ anyone directly outside of Edinburgh or Glasgow, the agency has distributed “millions” in funding to artists and initiatives across the country.
In 2019-20 Creative Scotland awarded almost £78 million to more than 1,300 recipients across the country.
Centres including Dundee Contemporary Arts (DCA), NEoN festival, Creative Dundee, Aberdeen Performing Arts and the Rep Theatre have been recipients.
Creative Scotland highlight the following has been dispensed across the North East from 2019-2020.
- 22 awards to Aberdeen City totalling £1,068,941
- 17 awards to Aberdeen totalling £1,311,906
- 27 awards to Dundee city totalling £3,280,373
- 12 awards to Moray totalling £703,418
Central belt ‘naval gazing’
Angus South candidate and Scottish Conservative spokesperson Maurice Golden said the quango did not distribute access evenly.
He said: “We need to tell the full story of Scottish culture, arts and heritage, and no one is going to help make the next Whisky Galore, Chariots of Fire or Local Hero while sitting in an office in Glasgow.
“The North East is fully deserving of a fair share of opportunities, particularly after the pandemic, as all parts of Scotland should benefit.
“I don’t believe the navel gazing, central belt mentality of the SNP is up to that task.
“Creative Scotland had a quarter of its budget cut by the SNP Government over the last decade.
“To fix the centralisation this has created, the Scottish Conservatives will bring forward an Arts Bill in the next Parliament.
“That would ensure a more sustainable funding model and a fairer geographic spread of resources.”
Reach goes across the country
A Creative Scotland spokesperson said: “The impact and reach of the work supported by Creative Scotland extends across the whole country.
“We work in partnership with local authorities, trust, networks, film offices and others to embed creativity and culture in communities and ensure locally distinctive work is supported, valued and encouraged.
“Last year in 2019-20 Creative Scotland awarded almost £78m to over 1,300 recipients across all parts of Scotland.
“These awards support many employment opportunities for artists, creative practitioners, producers, event organisers and administrators across Scotland, including nearly 5,000 jobs supported last year (2019/20) through our regular funding programme alone.”