Strategy Update and Funding Review - Conversation Events

Last updated: Thursday 19 September 2019

We would like to say a huge thank you to all of you who attended, and contributed to, the recent Public Conversation Events on Creative Scotland’s future funding approach. We would also like to say thank you to all of you who signed up to the Public Conversation Events but were unable to attend.

Overall, 17 public conversation events took place across Scotland, and our online survey delivered a further 70 contributions. Two further stakeholder events have also helped to ensure we have as rounded a picture as possible. We now have thousands of views, contributions and ideas on potential ways forward.

We feel very positive about the quality of the engagement and the feedback we have had from those who attended the events has also been very positive. We’re now pleased to communicate the next steps, as well as arrangements we are planning to put in place for RFO organisations for 2021/22.

Funding Review

Although we would not like to pre-empt the final conclusions and themes that arise from the analysis currently underway, some of the discussion areas that were prominent in the events include:

  • Continued engagement at a local level to work together in developing the arts, screen and creative industries and creative practice
  • Establishing clear principles for funding decision making that are easily understood
  • Support for an infrastructure that is able to respond to local needs
  • Support for development beyond funding
  • The need to recognise differing needs of projects, organisations and individuals
  • Establishing clear reasons for Creative Scotland intervention
  • Improving and simplifying the funding process
  • A call for more funding (on the basis that a great deal more can be achieved for further modest investment) and for a more sustainable basis for that funding.

Please note: This list is by no means exhaustive but hopefully gives a sense of the feedback received.

We are currently analysing all the responses and have commenced a series of internal discussions to consider all feedback and information and we will explore potential ways forward over the remainder of this calendar year.

We expect to start to communicate our future funding approach in early 2020.

RFO Funding from April 2021

We understand that there is a significant planning period required for RFOs to respond to any funding approach changes. We have therefore been exploring the possibility of a fourth year of Regular Funding (2021/22) for the current network of 121 organisations.

In order to enable all to work through and implement the outcomes of the funding review, we have extended in principle the funding agreements for organisations currently in receipt of Regular Funding for one year from April 2021, subject to available budget.

We are also sensitive to those organisations who do not currently receive Regular Funding, but who may have anticipated applying for Regular Funding in 2021.  We recognise that this may postpone their ambitions, but that, on balance, we believe the approach we are taking on a 4th year is the right way forward now.

We will continue to keep you updated on progress. In the meantime, if you have any questions, please contact us at