Questions For Creative Scotland
To say I was bemused by your announcement yesterday of the Emergency Scottish Government Relief Fund, that is supposed to support performing arts venues, would be an understatement but if I am honest, it was probably expected.
There are clearly questions to be answered as this is Public Money and should be fully accountable.
I would appreciate if all questions can be answered in full and not just ignored or skipped over.
- Was there a formula or model used for the sharing of this money? If so, can you please supply details of this?
- Were the funds to Regularly Funded Organisations (RFOs) based on Creative Scotland’s historical awards to them?
- Within your 121 RFOs, are the 20 that received relief funds the only ones with venues?
- Will any of the remaining RFOs, 101 in total, be allowed to apply for the remaining £5 million fund?
- Will any of RFOs, 121 in total, be allowed apply for the £97 million fund?
- Will council run arts trusts be allowed to make multiple applications to the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund?
- Did you take into consideration any other funds, loans, or grants that your RFOs have received during this time?
- Did you take into consideration all RFOs current bank balance?
- Can you explain the reasons behind the awards where several venues get considerably more in relief funds than they have received for annual regular funding? Some are as much an additional 125% of their initial funding.
- When do the funds get released to the 20 chosen organisations?
- If these funds are being released straight away, why do those organisations applying £5m fund have to wait until October 2020?
- Were there any RFOs that had venues that were not included within the £7.5 million fund?
- When were the RFOs advised of the criteria of these funds?
- Is the criteria of the £7.5 million fund the same as the £5 million fund?
- Did they have to submit applications in writing for this? If so, is it possible to see copies of applications from RFOs?
- Did they have to give clear indication what this money is to be used for?
- Why was there no grant limit within the terms of the £7.5 million fund, similar to the terms of the £5 million fund? E.G. £250k per application.
- Can you confirm that the total funding given out for 2020 / 21 to the 121 regularly funded organisations was approximately £34 million?
- It seems to me that the regular funded organisations are being paid twice for the same terms and conditions. Both are similar in terms of commissioning and employing free-lance artists and creative practitioners. Given that the RFOs received their regular funding from Creative Scotland on the 1st April 2020, (after lockdown), some to the tune of millions, were there any financial checks carried out to see what they have used this money for during the lockdown period and if they have any of this left?
- In relation to the question above, given that the majority of staff in all of these organisations would have been furloughed, they would be eligible for 100% rates relief and they would not have incurred the costs of commissioning or employing freelance artists and creative practitioners, what have they done with the funding they have received for the year 2020 / 2021?
- In terms of the question above, given that the regular funding that is received has terms and conditions attached to this, have the RFOs been advised what they can now use the initial funds received for?
- Given that this fund is NOT a replacement for lost earnings or there to be used for reopening costs, it is very difficult to understand what this is set out to achieve, other than to cover the weekly costs of running the venues. Have RFOs been given instructions by Creative Scotland what they can use their regular funding for?
- Given that theatres are unlikely to reopen until spring 2021 and we are all still unsure of safe distancing rules, how can any venue commission work or employ freelancers etc until clear instruction is given by the Scottish Government?
- Given that your RFOs will not be reopening their venues or commissioning any productions until spring 2021, what will they be using the funding already received for this year for?
- Further to the above question, will it follow on that they will be given next year’s funding on April 1st 2021?
- Again, following on from above, will RFOs receive their regular level of funding in 2021 or are there steps to increase this? For example, Dundee Rep has received approximately £2 million on the 1st April, after the lockdown period began, so therefore they should have spent very little of that during this period as they have had no shows. They then have received an additional £481,000 approximately as a part of the Emergency relief fund. Will it follow on that they get another £2 million in April 2021?
- Finally, do these awards comply with the current EU legislation on State Aid rules? To me, Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government are using taxpayer funded resources to one or more organisations in a way that gives an advantage over others.