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Delivering for Scotland #1: Free Access to Museums & Galleries

The SNP believes that culture is important in and of itself, and that participation in culture is a force for good for individuals and society. The Scottish Government provides annual funding for a number of cultural organisations responsible for preserving and promoting Scotland’s arts, culture and heritage – one of which is the National Collections of Scotland.

This include all our national museums, galleries and archives – as well as the National Library and National Records of Scotland (NRS). Pre-pandemic, our world class National Collections were enjoyed by over five million people every year.

In government, the SNP has protected free access to our national museums and galleries. The SNP Scottish Government has also been working to widen the touring of our National Collections – beyond traditional settings – in our schools and communities.

SNP government investment has additionally brought culture and history to more people in other ways. For example, £28.4 million funding for NRS from 2016-17 facilitated projects such as the ScotlandsPeople website – expanding access to the records.

If re-elected, the SNP will continue to ensure free access to our national museums and galleries, for the benefit of society as a whole. An SNP government will also continue to fund non-national museums and galleries through support for Museums and Galleries Scotland.

As part of its pandemic response, the SNP Scottish Government ensured that such independent museums were supported. The Museums Resilience and Recovery Fund has helped bolster resilience, and is now aiding the return of staff from furlough and the wider reopening of museums and galleries.