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Charity-run museum warns of financial pressures despite SNP’s funding promise

This news post is 9 months old

First Minister Humza Yousaf has promised to more than double the government’s investment in arts and culture.

A charity-run museum has warned it is facing significant funding issues which could shut down some of its operations, despite Scotland’s First Minister committing to increasing arts and culture funding by £100million by 2028. 

During the SNP party conference in Aberdeen earlier this week Humza Yousaf MSP pledged that over the next five years the government will more than double its investment in Scotland’s arts and culture.

Mr Yousaf said that the move would see funding levels rise to £100m more than they are at present.

He told delegates: “Our nation is rich in culture and the arts. Culture is a reflection of who we are, and who we hope to be as a people.

“We don’t just value culture and the arts for the economic impact they bring, we value them for their own sake, for the joy they bring the world.

“Delegates, I want to send a clear signal today about my ambition for culture in Scotland. We’re not just going to protect our arts funding. We’re not just going to increase it in line with inflation. No delegates, we’re going to go further than that.

“I can announce today that over the next five years we will more than double our investment in Scotland’s arts and culture.”

The announcement followed a row with arts campaigners in Scotland, who railed against the reimposition of £6.6m of funding cuts to Creative Scotland last month. 

The Scottish Government did not include the cash in its Autumn Budget Revisions, despite a promise in February to protect the financial support. 

Creative Scotland said they would be forced to use its National Lottery funding reserves to plug the gap.

Mr Yousaf at the time cited “the disaster of the mini-budget” and “sky high inflation” as reasons for the move.

Despite the promises,the National Museum of Scotland has warned it may be forced to cease some operations amid a funding crisis, calling for a plan to be put in place. 

The charity-run museum said it is facing its “toughest” financial crisis ever, with fears over its ability to pay staff and maintain the museum.

The museum received more than £26m from the Scottish Government last year. 

A spokesperson for National Museums Scotland told STV News: “The current financial climate is one of the toughest the heritage and culture sector has ever faced.

“We have still not settled our pay negotiations for the current financial year.

“There remains uncertainty about whether we can match the Scottish Government’s own two-year pay offer, which leaves us with ongoing concerns about the size of our budget gap in future years, and in that situation the only solution would be to cease some of our operations.”