Iain Munro inherits unwanted legacy as Creative Scotland's new chief executive - Brian Ferguson

Iain Munro has been appointed chief executive of Creative Scotland after 15 months in temporary charge.
Iain Munro has been appointed chief executive of Creative Scotland after 15 months in temporary charge.
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It is hard to recall a time when Creative Scotland has not been associated with instability and uncertainty. So it was not a total surprise that the reaction to the unveiling of Iain Munro as its permanent chief executive has been somewhat muted.

From the appointment of its first chief executive, Andrew Dixon, a largely-unknown quantity in Scotland, in February 2010, problems have never been far from its door. And Iain Munro has been an ever-present figure since the quango was formed out of a hugely controversial merger of the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen.

Both Andrew Dixon and his succcesor, Janet Archer, spent much of their tenures fire-fighting criticism from cultural organisations and artists.

Both had something of an obsession with energy-sapping strategies, but proved less than inspirational visionaries.

The quango seemed to blindly blunder into funding controversies and then make matters worse with its response, by blaming others, including meddling and troublesome artists, politicians and journalists.

But, by all accounts, the two previous chief executives had also lost the confidence of most their staff by the time they admit ted defeat.

All this leaves Mr Munro inheriting something of an unwanted legacy. But while he has undoubtedly been at the heart of previous regimes, it would be unfair to expect him to shoulder the blame for how they unravelled.

Although he has had 15 months standing-in as chief executive, the least he now deserves is time to rebuild. His experience and knowledge of both Creative Scotland and the wider cultural sector have clearly been key to securing the job.

But he will not need reminding that the clock has ticked down significantly towards the next round of crucial funding decisions.

For all the challenges he has faced so far, the greatest are undoubtedly ahead of him.