Creative Scotland cuts deal 'devastating blow'

8th July 2011 at 01:00
National orchestral programme among those to lose out from funding review

Arts organisations across Scotland are reassessing their education programmes for children and young people in the wake of funding announcements by development agency Creative Scotland.

The National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYoS), which will see its funding halved from pound;206,000 to pound;103,000 as of April next year, is one of the biggest casualties of a review of the agency's "foundation organisations".

The cut will be "a devastating blow" to a very large number of young Scottish musicians, NYoS chief executive Julian Clayton said: "The company NYoS isn't the victim in this - it's all the young musicians of Scotland who will miss out."

NYoS runs a range of orchestral programmes that form a "progression of opportunities" to learn about music from the youngest age to postgraduate level, Mr Clayton said.

Creative Scotland had given "no indication" that it was unhappy with its work, he added.

Creative Scotland describes its foundation organisations as those which "define their contribution to a creative Scotland in terms of talent, quality production, access, audience development and participation, the economy and place".

Creative Scotland was open to working with NYoS to look at other funding options, said Sophie Bambrough, the agency's media relations officer.

But education consultant David Cameron said the funding decisions were a sign that Creative Scotland was concentrating on "the established status quo".

"The Book Festival, for example, does reach out to schools, but effectively a huge amount is about promoting authors who have books to sell," he said. "I'm not certain that it makes the same contributions to stimulating creativity as some of the other areas where funding has been cut."

Fourteen arts groups will have funding increased as a result of the review.

Feisean nan Gaidheal, which supports the development of community-based Gaelic arts tuition festivals, will receive a 40 per cent boost to its budget.

But Gaelic arts agency Proiseact nan Ealan will have its funding cut from pound;153,000 to pound;73,000.

Organisations were finding ways to operate more efficiently, said Venu Dhupa, Creative Scotland's director of creative development.

chris.small@tes.co.uk.

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