Scotland on Tour Fund

– in the Scottish Parliament on 30th September 2021.

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Photo of Emma Roddick Emma Roddick Scottish National Party

6. To ask the Scottish Government what role the Scotland on tour fund will play in aiding the recovery of the arts sector. (S6O-00222)

Photo of Jenny Gilruth Jenny Gilruth Scottish National Party

The pandemic has had significant personal and professional impacts on those working in the live music sector. The sector will continue to face challenges even now that most parts of it can reopen fully.

Musicians, bands, artists and venues will be able to apply to the Scotland on tour fund, which is backed by £750,000 from the Scottish Government, to bring new and additional concerts to venues and festivals in Scotland this year. Scotland on tour will enable artists to reach new audiences and communities, widening opportunities to perform throughout the country.

Photo of Emma Roddick Emma Roddick Scottish National Party

The Scottish Government’s commitment to the touring fund within the first 100 days is timely and extremely welcome. In the opinion of the Scottish Government, to what extent will the Scotland on tour fund benefit all Scotland’s communities, including those in the Highlands and Islands, and not only those in urban centres?

Photo of Jenny Gilruth Jenny Gilruth Scottish National Party

One of the key aims of the Scotland on tour fund is to create new performance opportunities throughout the country, including the Highlands and Islands, which the member represents.

Active Events, the organisation that is tasked with delivering the Scotland on tour project, is supported by a steering group that includes representatives of the industry such as the Scottish Music Industry Association, the Touring Network, Creative Scotland, the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society and the enterprise agencies, including Highlands and Islands Enterprise. I hope that that reassures the member that the voices of those in her region are being directly reflected in the development of the fund’s eligibility criteria.

We are committed to helping communities throughout Scotland have greater access to cultural activities, including live music. Scotland on tour will help to support that ambition.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

I will take a brief supplementary from Sarah Boyack.

Photo of Sarah Boyack Sarah Boyack Labour

Does the minister support the initiative of Alison McGovern MP to ask Europe for support for visas for the touring industry, so that members of that industry can tour not just in Scotland but in the rest of Europe?

Photo of Jenny Gilruth Jenny Gilruth Scottish National Party

I am not sighted on the specifics of that initiative; perhaps Sarah Boyack could share details of it with me. It sounds like one that we in the Scottish Government would be keen to support.

As Sarah Boyack might be aware, the Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, External Affairs and Culture and I have made repeated representations to the United Kingdom Government on the issue, which is a real challenge for the sector. Prior to the summer recess, I met the then United Kingdom Government culture minister, Caroline Dinenage, and made that point directly to her.

I would be happy to work with Sarah Boyack on that. It sounds as though we share the same interests in this space.