Organisation faces a £100,000 shortfall
Arts organisations in Scotland are facing crucial cuts after Art and Business Scotland’s budget was slashed by 33%.
The body says it will have to close one of its funds which allows arts organisations and event organisers to attract match funding of up to £40,000 for the rest of the current financial year as it tackles a £100,000 loss.
Arts & Business Scotland chief executive David Watt said: “Unfortunately, this budget reduction will impact negatively on the fulfilment, scale or ambition of cultural activities due to be delivered across the country. Applications will either receive reduced or no funding support.
“Many of those existing, and other potential future applicants, have been in touch to share their concerns.”
Diana Murray, the charity’s chair, added: “It would be entirely reasonable for business leaders who want to invest in the country’s cultural vitality by partnering through this fund to think again about doing so with this match funding incentive being withdrawn.
“But I urge businesses to continue to support and collaborate with their culture sector partners.
“This fund provides an efficient lever for additional investment from non-public funds to support wide ranging cultural activities for the benefit of communities across Scotland.
“We’re committed to working together to ensure that these laudable ambitions are not jeopardised.”
Borders Book Festival director Alistair Moffatt said: “Match funding has provided a crucial injection of funds to the festival, enabling us to initiate and nurture mutually beneficial partnerships with sponsors.
“It has grown to be one of the country's top three book festivals, returning an economic impact of £2.3 million to the community the year before Covid hit.”
Culture Minister Neil Gray said: “We recognise the important role that Arts & Business Scotland play in funding cultural and heritage projects.
“Given the difficult public expenditure environment and the ongoing economic challenges arising from Covid, there are however pressures on funding.”