Cultural Organisations (Mid Scotland and Fife)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 30th September 2021.

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Photo of Murdo Fraser Murdo Fraser Conservative

4. To ask the Scottish Government what support it is providing to cultural organisations in Mid Scotland and Fife. (S6O-00220)

Photo of Jenny Gilruth Jenny Gilruth Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government provides a range of support to cultural organisations in Mid-Scotland and Fife, particularly in light of the pandemic. For example, organisations in Fife and Perth and Kinross have received more than £3 million through our performing arts venues relief fund, and more than £770,000 through our cultural organisations and venues recovery fund. Full details of those funds are published by Creative Scotland. That funding has been vital in supporting cultural organisations and businesses throughout the pandemic.

Photo of Murdo Fraser Murdo Fraser Conservative

According to a recent report, the number of people who are using the eight open libraries in Perth and Kinross fell by two thirds during the most recent period, which is perhaps not surprising because of the issues with Covid. What more might the Scottish Government do to encourage people to go back to using libraries in order to support that important local resource, and to make it clear that libraries are safe? Will she reassure us that Perth and Kinross Council, and indeed other councils in the area, will not see any reduction in funding because of the fall in the number of people using local libraries?

Photo of Jenny Gilruth Jenny Gilruth Scottish National Party

The member will be aware that the Government takes the issue of libraries very seriously. We recently introduced a libraries recovery fund to the tune of £1.25 million, which is being managed by the Scottish Library and Information Council. One of the requirements is that the fund reaches those who need it most; another is that we get a geographical spread, which will include the member’s region.

On the member’s specific question about Perth and Kinross Council, local authorities have a key role to play in cultural provision. I will meet the culture conveners very soon, and I hope—indeed, I am sure—that Perth and Kinross Council will be part of those conversations as we move forward. We absolutely need our local authorities to be part of the cultural recovery.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

Question 5 was not lodged.