SoA urges authors to protest Scottish culture cuts

SoA urges authors to protest Scottish culture cuts

The Society of Authors is urging its members to protest the proposed cuts to Scottish culture funding.

Next month the funding will be decided in a settlement between Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government and according to the SoA “each [proposal] presents a scenario where significantly less funding and fewer opportunities are available to develop arts and culture in Scotland”.

The society is calling on authors to join Literature Alliance Scotland's lobbying group and SoA chief executive, Nicola Solomon, in writing to cabinet secretary for finance Derek Mackay MSP to campaign against the cuts. 

In her letter, she described how the cuts to “literary infrastructure in Scotland - the bedrock of a cultural offer recognised worldwide for its quality - will undoubtedly lead to the disappearance of many irreplaceable arts organisations and literary infrastructure which support our readers, storytellers, writers, and publishers”.

She said: “Scottish literature puts Scotland on the international map and attracts business through publishing, bookselling and cultural tourism. Scotland has more than 100 publishing houses, producing over 3000 new books a year, employing over 1600 people, and generating an annual turnover of £150m.”

Solomon also quoted author Neil Gaiman in her letter, who spoke about how the Chinese government had invested in science fiction because it considered the genre instrumental to inspiring future innovation in engineering, design and technology.

An SoA spokesperson told The Bookseller: “Scotland’s literary sector is one of the most dynamic in the UK, employing more than 1,600 people, producing more than  3,000 new books a year, and contributing around £150 million to the Scottish economy. Scotland's creative industries as a whole contribute £4.6 billion and support 73,000 jobs.

“Our creative industries are growing at twice the rate of the economy as a whole. Even disregarding the personal and social benefits, public investment in culture offers outstanding value for money, and its funding must be protected.”

Those who wish to protest against the funding proposals should email their local MSP or Mackay (Derek.Mackay.msp@parliament.scot) by 1st December.