A Passion For Our Culture

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Delivering for Scotland #3: Culture & Heritage Investment

Culture, creativity and a rich, diverse heritage sit at the heart of Scottish life and play a critical role in the economy, communities and almost everything we do. The SNP is committed to supporting, developing and advocating Scotland’s culture, heritage and creativity – and ensuring that culture reaches a wide audience at home and abroad.

The Scottish Government culture and heritage budget helps to improve quality of life in Scotland’s communities by enabling and encouraging people from all walks of life to participate in cultural events and opportunities. The SNP government is investing more than £280 million in Scotland’s culture and heritage.

This means investment in major festivals (over £27 million for Edinburgh’s since 2008, with more funding opened up to Celtic Connections and the Glasgow International Festival); in new world-class museums like the V&A Dundee (£38 million); in protecting and promoting the Scots and Gaelic languages. Culture, historic environment and creative industries have benefitted greatly under the SNP from EU partnership and funding programmes – such as European Structural & Investment Funds, Horizon 2020 and Creative Europe.

SNP MPs will not stop demanding clarity and certainty over lost EU funding, and will fight any and all attempts to grab Scotland’s funding for Westminster. The SNP continues to support tax relief for culture and creative industries including high-end and children’s TV production, animation, film, theatre and orchestras – and has consistently called on the UK government to consider reductions to VAT levied on repair, maintenance and conservation work to historic buildings.

The SNP Scottish Government has also acted decisively to support the culture sector through the pandemic – for example, with additional financial support to secure the future of as many grassroots music venues and independent museums as possible and to protect National Trust for Scotland jobs. Looking forward, a re-elected SNP government would establish a “Percentage for the Arts” scheme – creating a required percentage spend on community art commissions in the overall cost of a construction project for new public buildings, places or spaces.

The SNP will support the co-ordination of Scottish commissioning and create a Scotland Touring Fund for Theatre and Music as part of economic recovery – helping to take live performances directly into alternative community venues and revitalising year-round tourism. And at the level of engaging young people, a significant manifesto pledge is the scrapping of fees for music and arts education – along with the expansion of the successful Youth Music Initiative model across other artforms.