Support for Culture (North East Scotland)

Portfolio Question Time – in the Scottish Parliament at on 24 April 2024.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Maurice Golden Maurice Golden Conservative

To ask the Scottish Government how it is supporting culture in the North East Scotland region. (S6O-03325)

Photo of Angus Robertson Angus Robertson Scottish National Party

Since the previous external affairs questions, the United Nations has concluded its review of the report of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East, which has delivered aid in Gaza for the Scottish Government. Germany is now resuming aid through UNRWA, joining the European Union and many others. We wish to put on record that we call on the United Kingdom Government to follow the lead of Germany and help the people of Gaza.

In answer to Maurice Golden’s question, our culture strategy sets out our ambition for culture to thrive across Scotland. We have supported a range of initiatives in the north-east of Scotland, including the North East Culture Collective. One of the projects in the programme has supported creative practitioners to work with young people who are experiencing homelessness to co-design a safe space to enable them to feel connected to their community.

In addition, through funding to Creative Scotland, we support organisations such as Hospitalfield in Angus, Creative Dundee, Deveron Projects and Scottish Sculpture Workshop in Aberdeenshire, to name but a few.

Photo of Maurice Golden Maurice Golden Conservative

The Eden Project Dundee is potentially transformational for the city, and it will be funded by a mixture of private and public sources. However, it is not projected to open until the end of the decade due to a series of complicated actions being required. What actions will the Scottish Government take to support and maximise the value of that project?

Photo of Angus Robertson Angus Robertson Scottish National Party

I commend Maurice Golden for his long-standing advocacy and Dundee for the flexibility and innovation that it has shown throughout the transformation of the city. That is affirmed in the designation of Dundee as the first and only United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization city of design in the United Kingdom.

The Scottish Government has invested £38 million in the construction of the world-class V&A museum of design as a focal point for the regeneration of the city’s waterfront. We continue our support through annual funding, which helps Dundee to develop a sense of place and a culture of innovation. I have no doubt that that innovative approach will continue as Dundee looks to maximise the opportunities that arise as the Eden Project develops in the city.

Photo of Karen Adam Karen Adam Scottish National Party

The launch of Scotland’s international culture strategy is very welcome, and it is important. I met the French ambassador recently in Aberdeen. Can the cabinet secretary say any more about the steps that the Scottish Government is taking to promote and develop Scotland’s international cultural connections and the opportunities that that can create for the sector, including in the north-east of Scotland?

Photo of Angus Robertson Angus Robertson Scottish National Party

First, I give a huge word of thanks to organisations across the north-east of Scotland for contributing to the public consultation for the international culture strategy. Contributions from organisations such as Scottish Sculpture Workshop, Deveron Projects and Peacock Visual Arts were vital to the strategy’s development.

The international culture strategy sets out a

“vision ... for the Scottish culture and creative sector to be globally connected with the means and opportunities to achieve its international ambitions and potential”.

The Scottish Government’s existing international infrastructure will be a key element in delivering on the aims of the strategy, and we will work with our international offices and other networks across Scotland, including those in the north-east, to build on their existing cultural activity in order to understand where opportunities exist and how to enhance them for the culture and creative sector.