Leading Scots cultural body in £5m fundraising bid

Saltire Society executive director Dir Jim Tough. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Saltire Society executive director Dir Jim Tough. Picture: Ian Georgeson

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A LEADING Scottish cultural body is to launch a new multi-million pound fundraising drive today.

New financial backing is to be offered to artists, writers, architects and academics under the Saltire Society’s plans to raise up to £5 million for two new grant programmes by 2016.

The charity, which dates back to 1936, already has £2 million in place to establish the new Saltire Society Trust, with the extra £3 million targeted to be raised in time for its 80th birthday.

It is launching a major fundraising drive today as part of a bid to “help exceptional talent to flourish and to enrich Scottish culture for many years to come” by bolstering its fundraising efforts.

Existing and potential new supporters of the society, which runs Scotland’s flagship literary awards, will be asked to held bankroll the new endowment trust, which is also hoped to put the charity on a much better financial footing.

The new funding programmes will allow beneficiaries to devote their energies fully to their chosen craft, while encouraging “innovation and risk-taking.”

Jim Tough, executive director of the Saltire Society, said: “We want to be able to continue to recognise and celebrate all that is excellent in Scottish culture and the Saltire Society Trust will enable us to do just that.”

Magnus Linklater, a former editor of The Scotsman, will be chairing the new Saltire Society Trust.

He said: “Reaching the £5 million target will ensure the trust can make a real difference. How we, as a nation, recognise and nurture those who inform, challenge and inspire us through their creativity is a measure of our civilisation. The establishment of the trust is an opportunity to give those individuals the recognition and encouragement they deserve – and to help ensure that Scottish culture in all of its many and varied forms continues to flourish for many years to come.”

Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “We welcome the Saltire Society’s energy and focus in implementing refreshed and continuing efforts to remain and build upon its position as an independent and authoritative voice in Scotland’s cultural landscape, continuing a tradition built up over the last 75 years. We support its plans to modernise and to put the organisation on a stronger financial footing for the future.”

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