CREATIVE Scotland made up.

Now it clearly needs a shake up.

And perhaps not only in its policies and its strategies. A new chair is shortly to be unveiled: he or she will need to oversee a transition from the current funding model, to something else. And maybe take a look at the form and functions of the whole body.

Creative Scotland was born as an unwieldy melding of the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen.

And now after the 2012 ‘stramash’, which led to the resignations of its chief executive and a director, and now the 2018 debacle, which has led to major decision-making U-turns, perhaps time has come for another overhaul.

One insider said the funding system is ‘not sustainable’ at present: every major arts company, of all kinds, along with ‘umbrella’ organisations, applying for one pot of money every three years causes considerable stress for not only the artists and companies, but, it seems, the organisation which distributes that money (even though that is its most important job.)

Although Creative Scotland can say it has ‘listened’ to the furore created by leaving companies such as Birds of Paradise and Catherine Wheels off its Regularly Funded Organisation (RFO) list, there’s no denying what a mess it has been. Two board members, Ruth Wishart and Maggie Kinloch, resigned over the matter. Fiona Hyslop, culture secretary, even Tweeted in an irritated fashion.

To be have been a fly on the wall at the emergency board meeting, chaired by Ben Thomson, on Friday would have been interesting: it is rare for any public body to go back on its, presumably, well-considered plans so quickly. Was it to only avoid bad publicity, or was there a recognition that major errors had been made?

Now £2.6m has been found, from ‘targeted funds’, to allow five companies previously excluded to be included.

Staff at Creative Scotland are furious about the decision making process. With its communication to companies and artists, and ultimately with the board for voting on a raft of major decisions (life changing ones for the artists involved) which have been reversed in 10 days. Chief Executive Janet Archer needs to do a better job of explaining decisions, and not only externally.

There is also the question of the ‘umbrella’ bodies. They remain on the RFO funding list. While artists were losing out, network bodies were funded. Groups such as the Federation of Scottish Theatre or the Scottish Contemporary Arts Network need to have their own kind of funding, rather than applying to the same pot as artists. Indeed, I am told both the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland were warned on this very issue four years ago by several learned voices. They carried on regardless, and the wisdom of that decision is questionable.

That five companies have been added to the list of RFO companies will come as considerable relief to them, even though others have still lost out, such as Ayr Gaiety, Fire Exit, NVA and Transmission and many are still on standstill grants.

Change must come.