It’s August and Scotland’s capital is once again abuzz with energy and creativity. Every summer all of Edinburgh is a stage – showcasing the best of Scotland, and the world’s, artistic talent.
With a combined audience of 4.5 million last year, Edinburgh’s festivals are as big as the World Cup and second only to the Olympic Games. In fact, the economic benefit to Scotland was an incredible £313 million in 2015.
And yet the Edinburgh festivals are but one part of Scotland’s fantastic cultural scene. With boundless energy and enthusiasm, artists are creating film, poetry, music, dance, theatre and visual art that is enjoyed the world over.
As Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Culture, I am absolutely determined to provide a platform for our artists to continue flourish, to take their work to an international audience and to provide equity in access to the arts within Scotland.
Fiona Hyslop is Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs
Here’s how the Scottish Government is supporting creativity in Scotland.
1. We will enhance the Edinburgh Festival Expo Fund, particularly ahead of the International Festival’s 70th anniversary.
The fund supports works premiered at the festivals to tour within Scotland or further afield, work by Scottish-based artists or companies and work created jointly with international artists. This year the fund is worth £2 million and £17 million has been provided through the fund since 2008.
2. We will continue to support our world-class National Performing Companies.
Scotland has five national companies that we are committed to funding in government: Scottish Ballet, Scottish Opera, the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra and the National Theatre of Scotland.
We are also continuing to provide an International Touring Fund to help the national companies perform overseas.
3. We will establish a National Touring Fund to make art accessible to every part of Scotland.
Just as much as we want to see global success of homegrown talent, we also want to provide more work, from more artists, in more theatres, to more communities across Scotland. National Touring Fund - so more people in more parts of Scotland can see great work.
4. We are committed to delivering a film studio for Scotland.
We’re excited, with the commitment already to a permanent film studio for Scotland that will support the potential in TV production and filmmaking, and will create a new dedicated unit for film and TV, based within Creative Scotland.
5. We will develop a culture strategy for Scotland that is based on access, equity and excellence.