Creative Scotland has announced that Andrew Dixon will step down as chief executive with effect from January 2013.
Dixon has been under intense scrutiny since May this year, following a series of controversial decisions, including the move from flexible funding to project funding for a majority of smaller theatre companies.
In an statement on his decision to step down he said: “I have been disappointed, given my track record, not to gain the respect and support of some of the more established voices in Scottish culture and I hope that my resignation will clear the way for a new phase of collaboration between artists and Creative Scotland.”
Dixon was appointed in February 2010 to oversee the merging of the old Scottish Arts Council with Scottish Screen, at a time when the Scottish cultural sector was increasingly fragmented, following the surprise promotion of culture minister Mike Russell to the education post and his replacement with the previous education secretary, Fiona Hyslop.
Dixon added: “It has been a privilege to have been involved in the early years of Creative Scotland and to have worked with such talented and dedicated staff, but I now feel the time is right for a change of direction for both myself and the organisation.
“I am proud of what has been achieved since the merger. We have delivered new resources for the arts and established strong partnerships with local authorities, broadcasters and many other agencies. The Year of Creative Scotland, The Guide to Scotland’s Festivals, a new capital programme, the Creative Place Awards and the recent Luminate festival have shown the potential for all parts of Scotland to play a part in the creativity of the nation.
Making the announcement, Sandy Crombie, chair of Creative Scotland thanked Dixon for his work. He said: “As a new organisation with an extensive remit, there have been inevitable challenges during this period and Andrew has consistently led the organisation with energy, passion and enthusiasm. He has also taken every opportunity to be a vociferous champion and advocate for Scottish arts and culture.”