Rankin and McDermid urge halt to Scottish arts cuts…

Published December 4, 2017 by Natasha Onwuemezi

Leading Scottish writers including Ian Rankin, Val McDermid and Denise Mina have called on the Scottish government to halt potentially “devastating” cuts to arts and literature for “the good of everyone in Scotland”.

Funding for arts and culture is to be decided in a settlement between Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government later this month, and it is expected that significantly less funding and fewer opportunities will be available to develop arts and culture in Scotland.

Ahead of the budget, which will be announced on 14th December, writers have appealed to the government to increase funding to arts and literature to help produce and support writers who will encourage diversity, inclusion and literacy, as well as boost Scotland’s economy.

While the letter concedes there are “of course difficult budget decisions to make in times of austerity”, the authors urge the government to consider that the cost of supporting literature “only amounts to a tiny fraction of the overall money the government will spend”.

“When it comes to the arts and literature, for a modest investment from the government our work generates enormous financial and cultural dividends”, the letter said.

It continued: “Without support from the government, Scotland will surely damage one of its prize assets: its world-renowned literary heritage. What an irony we could be facing: a country which trumpets its First Minister’s Reading Challenge on the one hand, but which cuts funding to new writers on the other.”

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