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Scottish government publishes draft culture strategy

Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop
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A new cultural leadership post is being created within Scottish government, aimed at supporting “creative and innovative thinking” across the country.

The post is revealed in the Scottish Cultural Strategy published this week.

The role, it says, “will be supported by strategic thinkers from across the culture sectors and beyond”.

According to the draft strategy: “The role will support creative and innovative thinking and highlight the benefits of a more connected and multi-disciplinary approach across all areas of government and its major stakeholders to consider the big societal issues faced in Scotland today and in the future.”

The document sets out how the Scottish government intends to “embed and elevate culture’s position across society”.

It looks at how culture can be used to transform society and empower people, as well as how culture can be sustained and nurtured to “flourish and evolve as a diverse, positive force in society, across all of Scotland”.

The strategy explores how culture affects areas such as education, poverty and health.

It broadly supports the existing model of central funding for elements of culture – such as theatre – through bodies such as Creative Scotland.

Without specifically commenting on Creative Scotland’s role, it also recognises the “complex set of challenges” of the current funding regime. It says this may unfairly advantage those who are already established and have existing networks.

It also says insecure, short-term funding, which requires high levels of administration, limits the sustainability of organisations and the potential of the sector to develop.

As a response, it claims funding models to support the culture sector and to develop the creative economy should be explored, including new partnerships.

It argues that Scottish government powers should be explored, “such as Scottish National Investment Bank, devolved tax and legislative powers that will generate a collective responsibility to supporting culture in the long term”.

Commenting on the draft strategy, culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Culture is at the heart of everything we do, reflecting the past, challenging the present and shaping the future.”

The document is open for public feedback until September 19, 2018.

Creative Scotland welcomed the strategy, which it said “marks a significant step for cultural policy and support in Scotland”.

The consultation paper is available to download here.

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