When the axe falls

14th December 2007 at 00:00
The cultural co-ordinators' programme has emerged as one of the first victims of the Scottish Government's spending review.

Culture Minister Linda Fabiani has told education directors that the Government is phasing out central funding for the programme by 2010.

The active schools co-ordinators' programme has not been axed - although, as it is funded through SportScotland, which is under review, its future too is uncertain.

Funding for the Youth Music Initiative, which delivers a year's music tuition for children up to P6, has been guaranteed up until the next spending review at pound;10 million per annum.

The cultural co-ordinators programme is channelled through the Scottish Arts Council and supports a network of 117 creative links managers and co-ordinators. Iain Munro, the SAC's director of arts, said the first effect of the decision would be the withdrawal of the pound;1.8 million project funding element of the programme in 2008-09. The following year would see support for cultural co-ordinators reduced by pound;500,000, and in 2010-11 there would be no funding available through the SAC.

A meeting is to be held next week involving the SAC and strategic partners to discuss possible future options. In the New Year, it will meet the Scottish Government and representatives of the co-ordinators' network.

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government said a factor in its decision had been that this was one of the tightest ever financial settlements from the Treasury.

Pamela Robertson, East Ayrshire's cultural co-ordinator, was one of the first such appointments in Scotland, but the post could be phased out.

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