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Important news about the future of the Federation of Scottish Theatre (FST) 

14 February 2024 

The impact of pandemic; ongoing funding, financial and climate crises; and global events have fundamentally reshaped the present operations and future prospects for the performing arts. Faced with this reality, FST (like many others) undertook a rigorous self-evaluation of our activities and support structures, acknowledging that a return to ‘the old normal’ is impossible. 

In January 2023, FST’s board commissioned an external review of FST, facilitated by consultants, Kinharvie. In total, 210 people participated in the review, including 191 members and former members. Several key recommendations were made. These included the need for a clear and compelling articulation of FST’s vision and role; realigning FST’s offer with that vision and role; and, consequently, changing the structure of FST. We are grateful to everyone who generously participated in the review and gave such us a clear steer about the future direction of FST. 

Strategic framework 

Last September, we shared FST’s new strategic framework with members. This framework envisioned a thriving performing arts sector that is integral to a vibrant, diverse, and equitable Scotland

Our new mission – to advocate for, connect across, and lead necessary change within the performing arts in Scotland – articulates our role in delivering this vision, with collaborative, informed and bold values that guide the action FST will take and the activities we’ll provide.  

The Strategic Framework is available to view in full on the website. 

New staffing structure 

We are today announcing a new staffing structure for FST, designed to support the implementation of the new Framework: 

  • The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) will be supported by three strategic Lead roles – Advocacy Lead, Membership & Networks Lead, and Change Programmes Lead.  
  • There will be newly created roles of Finance & Operations Co-ordinator, and Digital Communications Co-ordinator.  
  • The roles of Events & Membership Assistant and Finance Assistant will remain unchanged.  

The structure explicitly reflects FST’s redefined mission, aiming for flexibility and responsiveness in the face of further, inevitable change.  

FST Co-Chairs, Susannah Armitage, and Anita Clark, commented: 

“The pandemic threw everything we knew about the performing arts into question and also forced us to confront some of the pre-existing structural issues and inequalities in our sector. Following a thorough strategic review, FST is evolving to better equip ourselves as an organisation to support dance, theatre and opera in Scotland going forward. Our new structure, with its focus on advocacy, membership and networks, and leading change, gives us the agility and responsiveness we need to champion the sector and empower our members.” 

FST owe a deep debt of gratitude to our dedicated staff team. Their invaluable contributions, insightful ideas, and firm support for the organisation and members have been crucial.  

We especially acknowledge and thank Amanda Liddle, Fiona McCurdy, and Agnieszka Swida, who have chosen to move on from the organisation to pursue new opportunities, for their exceptional service and exemplary commitment to FST and our members over the years. Agnieszka, Amanda, and Fiona have played pivotal roles with FST, and we wish them all the very best in their future endeavours. Fiona left the organisation on 2 February, and Agnieszka and Amanda’s final day will be 14 February. 

FST’s ongoing programmes remain open and active, so if you have any queries about specific activities, including deadlines or requirements, please contact info@scottishtheatre.org.  

As we implement our restructure, we’ll keep members and stakeholders updated and will move forward with recruiting for the new positions later this year. For questions about this or our overall strategic direction, please contact Fiona Sturgeon Shea, CEO, by emailing fiona.sturgeonshea@scottishtheatre.org directly. 

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