The Scottish national performing companies and national collections all face budget cuts in the coming years.

The Scottish Budget signals some reductions, of different degrees, in the core grants of the arts quango Creative Scotland, the 'national companies' of Scottish Opera, RSNO, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Scottish Ballet and the National Theatre, as well as the budgets for the National Galleries and Museums.

Overall, culture spend takes a drop from £170.2m to £154.1m for 2016/17.

National performing companies funding drops £27.6m to £22.9m in 16/17 and spending on the 'cultural collections' drops from £85.9m to £78.6m in 16/17.HeraldScotland: RSNO

The RSNO, the national orchestra, recieves a 3% cut from £4.084m to £3.961m.

Its Chief Executive Krishna Thiagarajan said: “Stabilising the nation’s finances is an unenviable task, particularly in times of economic uncertainty, and we recognise we may all be required to contribute to the balancing of the budget. 

"We thank the Scottish Government for preserving as far as possible its investment in our future, which will allow us to continue our core programming.

"However, it is undeniable that continued reductions will have an impact on the scope and breadth of our ambitions."

A spokeswoman for the National Theatre of Scotland also said it received a 3% cut.HeraldScotland: The cast of the play Black Watch, acclaimed at the Edinburgh Festival and now filmed by the BBC.

A statement said: "While it is appropriate that all Scottish Government funded organisations should assume a share of reductions in an era of diminished public spending, even a 3% cut has a major impact on the National Theatre of Scotland’s operating budgets.

"In addition, the fact that we are not being advised of subsidy figures beyond March 2017 makes our ongoing financial planning ever more challenging."

Scottish Opera also confirmed a 3% cut.

Alex Reedijk, general director, said: “We are naturally disappointed but believe we can absorb this 3% reduction in our funding with some adjustments to our plans for next year.  However, if this is part of a longer-term trend, we will clearly need to give careful consideration to its implications."

Christopher Hampson, chief executive and artistic director of Scottish Ballet, which also took a 3% cut, said: "Scottish Ballet fully comprehends the difficult decisions that the Scottish Government had to take with regards to the budget statement yesterday. 

"The company remains committed to producing world class performances and engaging audiences and participants both on stage and within the community and we will do our utmost to minimise the impact the budget cuts will have on the range of activities we deliver.”HeraldScotland: Sophie Martin as Cinderella and Andrew Peasgood as the Prince in the Scottish Ballet production at festival Theatre in Edinburgh 5-31st December..Pic Gordon Terris/The Herald.4/12/15. (48891056)

Creative Scotland and 'other arts' spending sees a drop in funds from £56.7m in 15/16 to £52.6m in 16/17.

Creative Scotland will receive "more than £32m" of that total, and at present it is £33.4m.

A Creative Scotland spokeswoman said: "As a result of the draft budget announcement today, Creative Scotland’s discretionary Grant in Aid budget for 2016-17 will be reduced by 3.6%.

"While we made a strong case for something more positive, we appreciate that the Scottish Government had difficult choices to make.”

Creative Scotland will now look closely at how we apply our reduced budget for 2016/17, both in terms of our own operations and the Grant in Aid funding that we disburse, much of which is used to support Regularly Funded Organisations across Scotland.

Our Board will be meeting next week to agree our approach and further communications will be issued as appropriate after that."

Creative Scotland’s discretionary Grant in Aid Budget for 2015/16 is £33,412,000.

The Scottish Government’s draft budget presents a discretionary Grant in Aid budget for 2016/17 of £32,212,000, a reduction of 3.6%. 

It is understood that senior staff at the body were preparing themselves for a deeper cut of between 5% and 10%.

National companies were also considering their fate if they received harsher cuts to their grants.

Sir John Leighton, the director-general of the National Galleries of Scotland, said: "We recognize that there is immense pressure on all aspects of public sector funding but with this spending settlement Scottish Government continues to recognise the importance of the national art collections for culture, well-being and for economic growth in this country.

"We also welcome the Government’s continued support for the principle of free admission to the National Galleries as a means to promote wider access to a broad public.

"It remains a challenge to balance budgets against a background of rising demand for our services as well as the rising costs of protecting and caring for our world-class collections.

"However we are committed to providing the public with free access to the collections that they own and to ensuring that this great cultural asset can be a legacy for future generations”.


The Government budget document says that the government will "invest in Scotland’s cultural infrastructure including continuing our support for the V&A Dundee project", a project whose costs have proved controversial.

It says it has provided continued "funding for the National Collections, maintaining their assets and enabling free access to the main collections for the public".

The budget document itself says that that the 'Creative Industries' contributes more than £5bn to Scotland’s economy.

In 2014 the number of jobs supported by the Scottish Creative Industries rose to over 71,000 – an increase of 4.7 per cent from the previous year.

Scotland’s 460 museums and galleries attracted 27.65 million visits in 2014 and sustain over 3,500 tourism-related jobs.

The total induced economic impact of museums and galleries in 2014 was an estimated £891 million.

The budget says the government will also maintain support for the Youth Music Initiative at £10 million per year.

It will support in the region of £4 million for non-national museums, galleries and libraries.

There is no mention of a Scottish film studio in the document.

A spokesman for the Scottish Government said it was doing all it could to protect "Scotland’s culture and historic environment, to ensure our diverse and evolving cultural scene and rich heritage continue to thrive."

He adde: "Of the overall budget reduction a significant amount is capital reduction.

"It is important to note that part of the decrease in the capital budget is due to the progress of different capital projects, completed or where the capital spend has already been allocated. For example, the National Theatre of Scotland’s Rockvilla Development.

"We are maintaining our commitment to free access to our national collections to ensure everyone has access to culture, recognising the wider social, health and economic benefits that art and culture brings every day to individuals and communities and continuing to invest in grants to performing arts organisations and historic environment 

"We have also maintained investment in the Youth Music Initiative at £10m, recognising its success and contribution to education attainment. We are continuing to invest in key infrastructure such as additional investment in Historic Environment Scotland, completion of the Engine Shed with its traditional skills benefits, delivery of V&A Dundee, Scottish National Gallery (private bill), and initial investment to support  longer term plans for collections.

"We have maintained our International Development Fund at £9m, which will allow us to continue our contribution to tackling key global challenges such as inequality, climate change and human rights.”