UK ministers accused of 'insulting' Scotland's culture sector by failing to pass on funding

The UK Government has been accused of insulting Scotland's culture sector by failing to pass on tens of millions of pounds of funding.

SNP culture minister Jenny Gilruth said just £9 million of an expected £40m boost has been provided to the Scottish Government so far.

The extra cash is Scotland's share of a £300m uplift to the UK Government's Culture Recovery Fund.

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SNP MSP Fiona Hyslop has criticised the UK Government for failing to pass on culture funding. Picture: ANDREW MILLIGAN/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

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SNP MSP Fiona Hyslop, the former culture secretary, said: “Our culture sector is an essential part of our economy in Scotland and the Tories providing just a fraction of funding promised is an insult to a sector that is finding its feet once again coming out of the pandemic.

"As Culture Covid Funds have been cut short by the UK Government, the SNP Scottish Government has had to step in and fund the recovering vital culture and events with £25m of funding.

"Organisations in the cultural sector have worked so hard to maintain resilience and are starting again to deliver great music, theatre and other events and performances.

"The UK Government needs to lift its head from sleaze and dishing out questionable contracts to Tory donors and match the Scottish Government's commitment to organisations in the sector."

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In a written answer in Holyrood, Ms Gilruth said an additional £40m for the culture sector was announced in light of the expected boost.

She said: "The Scottish Government has so far only received £9m of these consequentials.

"We are still seeking clarity from HM Treasury on why the £40m has not yet been passed on in full to us and are continuing to press the UK Government to deliver the remaining £31m.

"Despite only receiving to date £9m of the consequentials, we have made available £25m to support recovery in the culture sector, principally through the Cultural Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund and the Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund.

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"[A total of] £17.2m has been awarded to performing arts venues and culture organisations via Creative Scotland, [and] £1.25m has also been announced for funding for the Public Library Covid Relief Fund. This leaves £6.55m remaining to be allocated, £2m of which is capital.

"We are working with the culture sector to understand ongoing needs and announcements on the final allocations will be made in the coming weeks.”

The UK Government was approached for comment.

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