Thursday, February 19, 2009

SNP will launch Creative Scotland as soon as possible

In a speech to Scottish arts professionals in Edinburgh yesterday, Mike Russell, Scotland's new Culture Minister in the SNP administration, pledged to merge the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen (into a new organisation called Creative Scotland) as soon as possible, reports Mike Wade in The Times.
This “lean, fit, determined servant of Scottish culture” will be formed next year by the merger of the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen, and will administer a £50 million budget.

There were firm commitments: to expand the board of Creative Scotland to include arts practitioners, and that the costs of transition to the new super-quango would not be met from existing cultural budgets.
As The Scotsman reports, opposition parties have criticised the plans.
Political opponents warned the Scottish Government was starting to see everything through the lens of independence.

Murdo Fraser, for the Tories, said: "Scotland's culture and arts have prospered during our 300 year Union. Day by day, the SNP is retreating into its nationalist shell."

Pauline McNeill, for Labour, said [Mr Russell] had "clearly exploited" the arts platform to press for independence.

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