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Chamber and committees

Question ref. S6W-02061
Asked by: Alex Rowley, Mid Scotland and Fife, Scottish Labour
Date lodged: 12 August 2021


To ask the Scottish Government what financial support (a) it and (b) Creative Scotland provides to the independent theatre sector, what its response is to concerns by representatives of independent theatres that there are severe inequalities in the sector and an uneven playing field when it comes to government support for theatres, and what action it is taking to ensure that a fair and diverse funding distribution model is in place to help widen access to culture across a broad range of venues and organisations.

Current status: Answered by Jenny Gilruth on 7 September 2021


Creative Scotland provide a wide variety of support, both regular and project funding, to theatres of all types.

In response to the Covid-19 pandemic the Scottish Government distributed emergency funds through two rounds of the Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund and the Cultural Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund. These funds were administered on behalf of the Scottish Government by Creative Scotland The details of all individual awards are published on Creative Scotland’s website ( Further £17million emergency funding reaches Culture Organisations and Performing Arts Venues | Creative Scotland )

Creative Scotland’s funding programmes adhere to criteria which are widely published and, subject to eligibility, are open to any organisation. Decisions are based on how well any applicant meets the criteria. The decision making process also ensures a spread of scale, purpose and location.

Public funding support for theatres covers commercial organisations as well as those with charitable or other not-for-profit status. The context for commercial organisations would always be that the funded activity was not profit generating and meets the public value purpose of Creative Scotland’s funding.

Creative Scotland are currently reviewing the way that they fund organisations and this will include how they fund theatres.

They will be finalising a refreshed funding framework for implementation from
‎ 2023-24 onwards.