SNP manifesto for culture and creativity

Our thriving creative sector has a reputation for excellence: from the many artists based here, to our Festivals, our National Performing Companies and National Collections, our rich built heritage and our world-leading digital technologies. We value the many, vibrant, contributions they make to Scotland and to our international reputation. 

Here’s how SNP MPs will be strong voices for Scotland’s creative sector at Westminster.

Protecting our place in the European Single Market

  • Scotland’s creative industries benefit from being part of the European Single Market. If the SNP wins the election, it will give us a mandate to demand a place for Scotland at the Brexit negotiating table and the inclusion of the case for our place in the Single Market in the UK’s negotiating remit.

  • SNP MPs will continue to call on the UK government to guarantee the right of EU nationals to stay in Scotland, ensuring that our cultural sector, society and economy can continue to benefit from their talent and creativity.

An immigration policy that works for Scotland

  • We support the devolution of immigration powers to the Scottish Parliament, so that we can develop an immigration policy suited to our specific circumstances and needs, including those of the creative sector.

  • The Post-Study Work Visa is a vital tool to help attract and retain young talent. The UK government’s decision to scrap the scheme, and then run a pilot which does not include a single Scottish university, is unacceptable. SNP MPs will call for the full reinstatement of the Post-Study Work Visa scheme.

  • SNP MPs will support the scrapping of the Immigration Skills Charge that is harmful to the growth of our cultural and creative industries and will create skills gaps. And we support a review of the Shortage Occupation List to ensure it recognises the specific skills needs of the Scottish economy and our flourishing creative industries.

Protecting vital funding, partnerships and reliefs

  • SNP MPs will continue to demand clarity and certainty over existing EU funding and will fight any and all attempts to grab Scotland’s funding for Westminster. Culture, historic environment and creative industries benefit greatly from EU partnership and funding programmes such as European Structural and Investment Funds, Horizon 2020 and Creative Europe.

  • We welcomed the assurance of the UK’s participation in the European Capital of Culture 2023 but we will seek a commitment that it will continue to engage in this initiative, and others, in future years post-Brexit.

  • We continue to support tax relief for culture and creative industries including the games sector, high-end and children’s TV production, animation, film, theatre and orchestras.   

  • The SNP Scottish Government has consistently called for the UK government to consider reductions to VAT levied on repair, maintenance and conservation work to historic buildings. We will continue to make the case for a review of VAT charged for this work.

Championing public service broadcasting and a thriving press

  • We believe that responsibility for broadcasting in Scotland should be devolved to the Scottish Parliament and that greater authority and funding should be moved from the BBC network to BBC Scotland. In the meantime we welcome the creation of a new BBC Scotland TV channel and its associated investment.

  • We will continue to push for a fairer share of the TV licence fee raised in Scotland being spent in Scotland.

  • We welcome the proposals for the relocation of Channel 4 outwith London, and SNP MPs will make a strong case for as many functions of the Channel 4 operation as possible to be based in Scotland, continuing to lead the case against any plans to privatise.

  • We will make the case for the Scottish Parliament to have the power to decide which sporting events in Scotland are included in the list of those that are free to view in Scotland.

  • We will demand that the UK government reinstates its funding for Gaelic broadcasting.

  • As the UK government consults on proposals to reduce the requirement for local content on radio, SNP MPs will seek to protect local news and other content provided by local commercial radio stations, recognising the valuable contribution they make to informing and entertaining listeners.

  • We remain committed to a vibrant, free press and we will work with other parties, in Scotland and at Westminster, to ensure it is supported.

Securing opportunities for the future

  • The UK government has published a draft Industrial Strategy, in government and at Westminster, we will work with partners to deliver a strategy that takes account of Scotland’s economic challenges and recognises the needs of Scotland’s creative sector.

  • The Tory plan to leave the European Single Market has the potential to greatly harm our creative industries’ ability to operate and be successful. As new trading relationships are formed, we will work to ensure that the interests of Scotland’s vital industries, including the creative sector, are represented. This will include backing policies which ensure copyright and IP protections support our industries.

  • The SNP Scottish Government has made representations to both the European Commission and the UK government on the Digital Single Market proposals. Whilst proposals present many great opportunities, there are complexities which require further discussion. As negotiations continue, we will continue to press the UK government for representations to be made, to ensure our interests are represented.

Championing creativity and culture at Holyrood

Holyrood is responsible for culture. Here’s just some of what the SNP Scottish Government is doing for our creative sector.

  • Engaging young people in cultural activity in and out of their education environment is a priority – in 2015/16 alone over 1.6 million opportunities have been created for young people to participate in music and the arts.

  • Our world class National Collections are enjoyed by 5 million people every year. We are protecting free access and are working to widen the touring of our National Collections – beyond traditional settings – in our schools and communities.

  • We are committed to major investment in Scotland’s cultural and heritage infrastructure, delivering over £150 million of investment since 2010.

  • We support the central role of Gaelic arts in engaging people with the language, and enhancing the relevance of the language to Scottish society. We will continue to support the Scots language.

  • We are committed to supporting BBC Alba, which received £12.8 million funding in 2016/17 alone.

  • We are committed to funding and supporting Creative Scotland, Historic Environment Scotland, our National Performing Companies and National Collections.

  • Since 2008 we have provided over £19 million to the Edinburgh Festival Expo Fund, investing in the skills and talent of both emerging and established artists here in Scotland.

  • We are committed to the International Touring Fund, helping our National Performing Companies share their work with audiences worldwide.

  • We have delivered record screen sector support and are facilitating the development of private sector-led permanent film studio space.

  • We will create a new dedicated unit for film and TV, based within Creative Scotland. It will combine expertise from our creative and enterprise partners and oversee support from development through to production and distribution.

  • We have established a Creative Industries Advisory Group to enhance industry collaboration and advise the Scottish Government and agencies on how to support creative entrepreneurship and grow the sector, ensuring they are central to the development of public sector policy.

  • We are committed to supporting the Cultural Enterprise Office to provide tailored business advice and assistance for creative industries.

  • We work closely with the games industry to ensure Scotland remains a world-leader in this sector. The public sector has invested nearly £10 million in the last 4 years alone to help job creation and innovation.

Find out more about
our record in government