ARTS funding deals should last for longer than the life of a Scottish Government, MSPs will be told today by the veteran festival impresario and artist Richard Demarco.

The support of the arts in time periods longer than the four years of a Parliament, and substantially longer than the current three-year deals given by Creative Scotland, is "essential", he will advise the Culture Committee of Holyrood, which is hearing evidence on arts funding.

In his submission to the committee, Demarco - an artist and academic, a stalwart of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and gallerist - says that "longevity of essential."

He will also suggest that artists be given teaching posts in schools to help give them financial stability - as well as spreading knowledge of the arts.

Demarco, 88, writes: "Longevity of funding timeframe is essential.

"Short timeframes of funding such as three years require a large proportion of the relevant time to be spent engaged in the dispiriting exercise of securing follow-on funding.

"So, at a Scottish Government level, there needs to be agreed an arts funding settlement which goes beyond the life of the then current Government."

READ MORE: Demarco's show at Venice Biennale

He adds: "I think there is a consensus across the party political spectrum that ‘Art is a good thing’

and should be supported.

"But when there are other and increasing demands on the political purse, it is easy for those responsible to raid the ‘Arts’ budget to meet demand elsewhere.

"This creates division, uncertainty and certainly a lack of sustainability.

"So a longer term settlement agreed by all concerned is needed."

Other evidence at the session will be given by Harry Josephine Giles, David Leddy the artistic director of Fire Exit Theatre, Rhona Matheson the chief executive of Starcatchers Theatre Company, Ken Mathieson, founder of the Classic Jazz Orchestra, and Raymond Vilakazi, artistic director of Neo Productions.

READ MORE: Fire Exit announces it is to close a year after funding cut

Mr Leddy has announced this week that Fire Exit is to close, and he is to leave the theatre world, a year after it was denied long term funding by Creative Scotland.

Mr Demarco adds that artists should be offered part time employment in education, particularly in Primary Schools.

He writes: "This would help nurture the talent of youngsters and at the same time allow the artist the guarantee of a basic salary which would allow them to develop time and space to devote to their art and also crucially, to obtain funding through patronage, sale of their works and other commercialisation routes.

"Such contracts of employment would require to be for a period of say five years."

He adds: "How does this contribute to the sustainability of funding?

"Quite simply, it removes the pressure on the funding system of endless ‘projects’ being dreamed up and applied for, having to go through an application process, having to be monitored and evaluated with all the associated administrative work."

READ MORE: David Leddy on why he is leaving theatre

Creative Scotland is currently reviewing its funding models, and may change the way it supports artists and arts companies with government and Lottery cash - at present it uses three-year funding, project-based funding and targetted funding.

Mr Leddy, in his evidence, says that Creative Scotland staff should not make funding decisions, and only administrate the system.

Peer review panels, he says, should instead make decisions above grants of £10,000.

He adds: "A funding body is unlikely to ever attract staff of high enough quality to make high-quality decisions.

"Instead, those staff should administrate and guide the process and the decisions themselves should be outsourced to better qualified people."