Birlinn leaves Publishing Scotland

<p>Birlinn, one of Scotland&#39;s biggest publishing companies, has split from the nation&#39;s main publishing body, questioning its existence and describing its funding by the arts council as a &quot;disgrace&quot;, reports the Herald.</p><p>Birlinn, which publishes 150 new books a year - including works by James Kelman, Alexander McCall Smith, Lewis Grassic Gibbon, Sorley MacLean and Hamish Henderson - has withdrawn from its membership of Publishing Scotland in protest at the &pound;260,000 grant the body has received from the Scottish Arts Council (SAC).</p><p>Hugh Andrew, chief executive of the Birlinn/Polygon group, said he is dismayed not only with the grant given to Publishing Scotland but the SAC&#39;s suspension of funds to Scottish publishers.</p><p>Andrew also questioned the worth of its booksfromscotland.com website, which sells books online, and asked why a trade association should receive public funds.</p>