Talks are to be held between the Scottish Government and Glasgow’s culture and leisure boss over possible future involvement and a partnership.

Maree Todd MSP, minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport, has agreed to meet Councillor David McDonald, the chairman of Glasgow Life and depute leader of the city council. It comes as The Herald is running a high-profile campaign, A Fair Deal for Glasgow, calling on a new funding method for Glasgow Life, the arms-length council organisation which runs the city’s culture and leisure services.

Read more: Glasgow fair deal campaign: Governments urged to back funding fight for venues and treasures

In a letter from Andrew Sinclair, deputy director, of Active Scotland, to Glasgow City Council, he said the minister had asked him to reply on her behalf as they were responsible for the policy advice for this issue.

The Herald: Councillor David McDonald, chairman of Glasgow Life, at the People's Palace.Councillor David McDonald, chairman of Glasgow Life, at the People's Palace. (Image: Newsquest)

He once again apologised for a delay in responding a letter from the council which had been sent in June with the response only being received on October 18. It was the second time there had been a lengthy delay after the council originally wrote to the minister in December 2020 highlighting the financial crisis Glasgow Life was facing and received a first response six month later.

In a letter due to go before councillors at meeting of the full Glasgow City Council on Thursday, Mr Sinclair said: “I apologise for the delay in responding to you again as noted previously the Scottish Government has received a significant increase in correspondence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I held a meeting with the senior management team from Glasgow Life on September 3, 2021, to better understand the issues and to discuss the integrated approach to leisure and culture being adopted in Glasgow.

“The Minister has agreed to meet with Glasgow Life and Cllr McDonald on November 16, 2021.”

Read more: More than half a billion pounds earned through nation's cultural powerhouse

Mr Sinclair said the meeting would focus on future partnership working with the Scottish Government, particularly in the areas of the contribution of Glasgow Life services to population health and local and national recovery post pandemic.

The Herald: Glasgow Against Closures march in the city centre fighting for services and venues to be reopened.Glasgow Against Closures march in the city centre fighting for services and venues to be reopened.

Councillors were aggrieved it took almost six months to receive a response to their original letter and that it was from an official, rather than from Scottish Government ministers.The council had highlighted to the Scottish Government that a motion had been passed in connection with national funding for Glasgow’s cultural and community assets.

The Herald launched a campaign to fight for a new funding deal for the city's culture and leisure and for its venues and treasures of national and international significance to be funded appropriately.

Glasgow Life lost £38m in income last year due to the pandemic and predicted income for 2021/22 is around £6.4m, and while Glasgow City Council has reached an agreement for it to receive a guaranteed £100m a year for the next three or four years, Glasgow Life has only been able to open 90 of its 171 venues. Without further funds, it cannot open any further sites.

Five libraries, Whiteinch, Maryhill, the Couper Institute, GoMA and Barmulloch, have yet to reopen their doors with costs for that said be around £1.2m. Our campaign calls on both the Scottish and UK governments to agree a new funding deal.

Cllr McDonald, who is backing our campaign, said: “Glasgow Life has been looking at new models of working for some time now aimed at people who need help to engage with culture and physical activity to support better physical and mental health.

"We have been discussing these approaches in detail with multiple partners to ensure they can work across Glasgow and so that the services we offer reach people who could benefit most from using them. I’m looking forward to discussing how Glasgow Life can work with multiple agencies to make a greater impact on the health, wealth and wellbeing of Glasgow with the Scottish Government.”