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Creative Scotland board members resign in protest over cuts

Maggie Kinloch, who has resigned from the board of Creative Scotland. Photo: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Maggie Kinloch, who has resigned from the board of Creative Scotland. Photo: Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
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Ruth Wishart and Maggie Kinloch have resigned from the board of Creative Scotland following the arts agency’s controversial funding decisions announced last week.

Despite presiding over stand-still funding for its regularly funded organisations in 2018-21, the agency has come under increasing pressure in the last week, notably over its decision to remove RFO status from theatre companies working in the children’s and disabled sectors.

Broadcaster Wishart, who has been on the board since Creative Scotland was set up in 2010, announced the decision in her blog on February 1, criticising the process that resulted in the recent cuts.

“Such was the pace of some of these initiatives that, not infrequently, the board were asked to sign off against deadlines on some matters without adequate time to come to considered, properly reflective judgements,” she wrote.

Ben Thomson, the interim chair of Creative Scotland, confirmed the two resignations in a statement that noted Wishart and Kinloch’s “significant contribution” to the work of Creative Scotland. Kinloch is a former deputy principal of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Thomson added: “This includes their contribution to our recently published decisions on regular funding 2018-21. These decisions were arrived at through a clear and careful process, involving Creative Scotland’s highly dedicated specialist staff and leadership team, with final decisions signed off unanimously by the board.”

An emergency meeting of the Creative Scotland board has been convened for this week. It will review all the unsuccessful applications for RFO funds.

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