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FST Annual Report 2022/2023

A report covering FST activities during the financial year 2021/22

Director’s foreword:

I find myself reflecting yet again on a year full of challenges for the performing arts, but also full of people determined to meet those challenges with innovation, determination, and hope.

As FST embarked on 2022/23, the enduring effects of Covid-19 continued to influence the sector. The threatened Omicron surge at the end of the previous year left a lasting impact, with remaining Covid restrictions being lifted only in April. This, in turn, negatively impacted public confidence and hindering the return of audiences to live performances.

Compounding these challenges was the deepening economic crisis, with its interconnected issues like rising production and infrastructure costs, the global recession, household expenses, dwindling incomes, rail union strikes, and the ongoing financial struggles faced by local authorities. Later in the year, broader Scottish Government financial concerns and the potential for a funding crisis further unsettled us.

Throughout the year, we maintained consistent engagement with our members and broader stakeholders through various channels, including meetings, e-newsletters, online consultations, working groups, and individual interactions. This ongoing collaboration ensured that our advocacy efforts accurately reflected the sector’s interests and priorities, and that the range of activities and events we offered aligned with the strategic and developmental needs of the industry.

We are profoundly grateful for the unwavering support, engagement, and responsiveness of our membership, who actively participated in and fully embraced the extensive range of activities that the FST team worked hard to provide.

The onset of 2023 marked a turning point for FST, as we embarked on our own period of review, understanding, like most organisations, that we needed to redefine our role and ensure our continued relevance amidst a rapidly evolving performing arts sector.

We recognise the need to adapt our strategies and services to meet the evolving needs of our members and the broader community. We hope that, as our valued stakeholders, you will join us on that journey.

Fiona Sturgeon Shea
Chief Executive Officer
September 2023