Scotland's main arts funding body is to hold its first showcase event in London to "celebrate the arts, screen and creative industries".

Creative Scotland holds an annual event at the Scottish Parliament, featuring performances, for MSPs but it is now to stage an event in London, at the National Theatre on the Southbank, next month for MPs and key figures in the UK arts scene.

The event is to be co-hosted by the chairman of Creative Scotland, Richard Findlay, as well as the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

Her presence at the event for MPs, Trusts and Foundations, is, Creative Scotland insiders said, to help bring extra attention to the reception as well as mark the Government's financial support of the body.

A spokesman for Creative Scotland said the cost for the reception - which will feature performances, drinks and canapes - had not yet been confirmed.

Bosses at the body - the main funder of artists, arts companies and cultural organisations north of the border - hope to both raise awareness of their work with MPs, as well as begin a more determined process of influencing key cultural figures south of the border.

They are also aware that in a straightened financial climate, arts organisations will need to tap into Trusts, Foundations and wealthy individuals even more, many of which are based in London.

The reception will provide an opportunity for companies and individuals, as well as MPs, to meet these power brokers.

The private event , which will be attended ay around 120 people, will take place on February 29.

Those invited will include Scottish MPs based in London, MPs on relevant committees such as the Culture Committee and the Scottish Affairs Committee, as well as arts media in London, and key figures in the London or UK arts scene.

A spokesman said: "Echoing the annual event that we host at the Scottish Parliament, we are holding an event in London in late February with the aim of raising awareness of the strength of Scotland’s arts and culture amongst an invited audience of MPs, influential cultural figures and other funders, trusts and foundations.

"The event will include performances from some of Scotland’s creative talent, and is part of our broader work to foster connections that will benefit Scotland’s artists and cultural organisations."

A source said that Creative Scotland is keen to emphasise one of its roles, which is as an "advocate" for Scotland's cultural scene and talent.

It is also a distributor of National Lottery money, a critical fund of cash which is based in London.

The source said: "the primary purpose of the event is to celebrate and showcase the strength and breadth of Scotland’s arts and culture, its strength and diversity, underlining its value and the importance of connections across the UK and in London in particular."

An insider said that Ms Sturgeon's place at the event reflects the Scottish Government's funding of Creative Scotland, which is an arms-length body.

It was also noted that her presence at the reception is likely to encourage more MPs to turn up.