‘Lack of government funding’ cost Aberdeen crack at culture title

Mr Young said: 'Aberdeen gets the least amount of money from the Scottish Government of all local authorities.' Picture: Ian Rutherford

Mr Young said: 'Aberdeen gets the least amount of money from the Scottish Government of all local authorities.' Picture: Ian Rutherford

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Aberdeen’s failure to make the shortlist for UK City of Culture 2017 was down to a lack of Scottish Government funding, a senior councillor has claimed.

Aberdeen was not selected, whereas Dundee was one of four cities picked by the panel.

City of Culture judges described Aberdeen’s artistic and cultural expertise as “limited” and said its bid lacked a “coherent vision” and a “wow factor”, according to feedback by researchers Regeneris Consulting.

The panel also felt there could have been more passion and that the bid did not deliver a compelling case.

Aberdeen Council finance convener Willie Young said Dundee’s £45 million V&A museum project, which has received £18m from the Scottish Government, is likely to have swayed judges. In contrast, Aberdeen is holding out for private sector funding for a £30m art gallery project, and is still reeling from the divisions over its troubled Union Terrace Gardens redevelopment, he said.

Mr Young, who was Labour’s candidate in the recent Aberdeen Donside Holyrood by-election, said: “Aberdeen gets the least amount of money from the Scottish Government of all local authorities.

“Dundee gets 80 per cent of their money from the public sector, whereas Aberdeen gets less than 50 per cent. The V&A is all public money, whereas the Scottish Government has not one building in Aberdeen other than police and fire.”

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