Artists living on less than £50 a week, warns Scottish Design Exchange

Some self-employed artists in Scotland have been left with less than £50 a week to live on after missing out on government support schemes, a survey has revealed.

Lynzi Leroy argues that self-employed artists need more support. Picture: Mark K Jackson.

The not-for-profit Scottish Design Exchange found that although most respondents, including artists, fashion designers and photographers, have continued to work, half are earning less than 50 per cent of their normal income.

One in four is earning less than a fifth of their pre-lockdown wage while 15 per cent earn a tenth or less. Some 60 per cent of respondents have received no financial help from the UK or Scottish governments.

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Lynzi Leroy, chief executive of the Edinburgh-based Scottish Design Exchange, said: “There are thousands of people whose creative output helps to define Scotland and to sell its image at home and abroad, generating large amounts of revenue for the Scottish economy.

“Yet this survey reveals the stark reality of how close to the edge many of those people live, without an effective safety net when things go wrong. It highlights a wider problem about how, as a society, we don’t value or protect the foot soldiers of our creative industries.”

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