Creative Scotland to hold talks with arts groups

Creative Scotland are to hold talks with arts groups around Scotland
Creative Scotland are to hold talks with arts groups around Scotland
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TROUBLED arts agency Creative Scotland has agreed to host a series of “open sessions” and draw up a whole new blueprint for the organisation following the resignation of its chief executive last month.

• New chief executive not expected to be in place for roadshow

• Talks will help to inform new direction of Creative Scotland

The roadshows have been announced after it emerged that the recruitment of a replacement for Andrew Dixon was being delayed for the forseeable until a major shake-up is carried out.

The remit of Creative Scotland, the deployment of staff with specialist expertise and funding programmes for artists and organisations will all be overhauled over the next few months.

The corporate plan for the body, which commands an annual budget of more than £83 million, is being redrafted in response to criticism that it features too much unwieldy jargon and business-speak.

Creative Scotland insisted the recruitment process for a new chief executive was likely to be underway by the time the new corporate plan is published in May. However a new recruit is said to be unlikely to be in place when up to six open sessions are held around the country in March and April.


A spokesman said: “There is a lot to do, but be assured that we are committed to re-building trust between Creative Scotland and all the sectors that we are here to support, while maintaining continuity of service through this period of change.

Creative Scotland’s board of directors has insisted it does not want to “rush in” to finding a replacement for Dixon.

It is understood options being considered include scrapping the post of chief executive completely, giving the new figurehead a different title or putting an interim chief officer in charge for up to 12 months.

Mr Dixon resigned shortly before Creative Scotland’s board was due to discuss how to deal with an artistic revolt over the running of the body and an internal report into management practices under the former chief executive’s regime.

A damning report, which was not published until after Dixon had resigned, revealed widespread problems due to “fractured” relationships with artists and a “gulf” between staff and senior management.

A statement from the agency’s board, led by former Standard Life chief executive Sir Sandy Crombie, admitted “many important relationships have deteriorated” since the organisation was set up in the summer of 2010 with Dixon as chief executive.

Iain Munro, one of two creative directors left at the organisation following the resignation of a third, Venu Dhupa, just before Christmas, has been placed in temporary charge of the organisation as the senior “accountable officer.”