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FM must show leadership and save Scottish Youth Theatre

March 9, 2018 12:00 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Tavish Scott has today written to the First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to urge her to show some leadership over the issue of Scottish Youth Theatre (SYT), and intervene to stop its closure as a result of public body Creative Scotland's funding decisions.

The statement follows the announcement that SYT will cease trading after 41 years at the end of July after Creative Scotland refused to offer funding for the 2018 - 2021 period.

The announcement comes on the back of sustained criticism of Creative Scotland funding processes. In February 2018 Creative Scotland was denounced for handing £1 million to a Netflix production reportedly costing £100 million, money a representative of the production company described as a 'bonus' but that had no bearing on its decision to shoot in Scotland.

At yesterday's FMQs, Nicola Sturgeon could not give a guarantee that the SYT would be saved.

Mr Scott said:

"The Scottish Youth Theatre has been integral part of thousands of people's lives over four decades.

"Big productions coming here rely on grassroots talent, and there is no better example of this than the work SYT has done. As well as nurturing the careers of many talented stars who do so much to encourage creativity and promote the best Scotland has to offer, it has enriched countless more people's youth.

"If Creative Scotland won't do the right thing in this, Scotland's Year of Young People, will the First Minister show some leadership and support this treasured organisation? I would urge the First Minister to step in to prevent the closure of the Scottish Youth Theatre."