FST undertakes strategic lobbying and advocacy, directly representing the interests of FST members to funders and key decision makers including Creative Scotland, the Scottish Government and Local Authorities.
Over the past year, our work has included:
- Funding crisis-related advocacy following the announcement of the Scottish Governments 2023/24 budget which includes £10m cut to Creative Scotland funding.
- Covid-19-related advocacy
- Responding to Scottish Parliament and Government consultations and legislation
- Helping our members navigate through Brexit developments
- Facilitating dialogue between FST Membership and Creative Scotland
- In partnership with PiPA (Parents and Carers in the Performing Arts), securing a Scottish Government Workplace Equality Fund.
Advocacy related to the funding crisis
While the 2023 Budget Bill was still progressing through the Scottish Parliament, we wrote to John Swinney, acting Cabinet Secretary for Finance and the Economy, calling on the Scottish Government to reverse the proposed cut to Creative Scotland and reasserted the value of culture and the impact of the current economic climate on the performing arts.
We also held three information-sharing sessions for the sector to come together and discuss the kinds of action we could all take in the light of the budget bill and the potential cuts to Creative Scotland.
Covid-19- related advocacy:
The Covid-19 virus has had an immediate and devastating impact on our industry. FST has been working to collect and collate evidence and experience from our members to present to funders and decision-makers in Scotland and the UK. Our sector will need significant additional investment to enable it to retain the skills and talent it will need to survive and to thrive, in the future.
Our Covid-19 resources can be found here.
Our work included:
- Presenting evidence to the Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee on the impact of Covid-19
- Engaging directly with the Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture to advocate for our needs
- Developing outward-facing campaigns to support Theatre & Dance in Scotland
- Working with our partners across the UK to develop evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
- Collaborating with Culture Counts on a proposal to Scottish Government to support our cultural sector with a New Zealand-style deal
Responding to Scottish Parliament and Government consultations and legislation:
- Scottish Government’s consultation on climate change in April 2019,
- Scottish Parliament Committee on Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs (CTEAA): Inquiry into Arts Funding (a full transcript of the FST Director’s evidence to the Committee can be found here)
- Engaging with COSLA on changes to theatre licensing.
Helping our members navigate through Brexit developments, including:
- Providing regular information through our newsletters, including links to grants to help SMEs manage the impact of Brexit;
- Together with SCAN (Scottish Contemporary Arts Network), conducting and disseminating results of a Brexit survey.
Facilitating dialogue between FST Membership and Creative Scotland to:
- Develop a Touring Code of Practice
- Ensure FST members’ views are fed into the developing funding review process
- Keep the Membership informed about developments through presentations at Members’ Meetings
In partnership with PiPA (Parents and Carers in the Performing Arts), securing a Scottish Government Workplace Equality Fund.
The funds will be used to develop a Scotland-specific programme of research and events to help performing arts business to attract, support and retain a more diverse workforce, focusing on those with caring responsibilities.