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Culture & Heritage in an independent Scotland

Fiona Hyslop

Fiona Hyslop

Fiona Hyslop, Culture Secretary to the Scottish Assembly gave an impassioned speech on Scottish Culture earlier last month that some members may like to read. She disagrees with Maria Miller in her approach to culture, stating that “The Scottish Government already accepts the case for the role of government in supporting the cultural sector. We actively support the case for public subsidy of the arts. We understand that culture and heritage have a value in and of themselves. I don’t need or want the culture or heritage sector to make a new economic or social case to justify public support for their work. I know what these sectors can deliver because I see it in action. I visit hardworking artists and practitioners who are exploring new ways of working; and who are creating dynamic and exciting new ways of enjoying and sharing their work and the work of our ancestors. They think in new ways precisely because they are artists. So, for this Government, the case has been made“.

Hyslop is passionate about the arts, stating that “….it is not the Government’s job to tell artists what to paint or authors what to write or craftspeople what to fashion. Nor is it the Government’s job to tell people what art to see, what books to read or what crafts to buy. It is our job, however, to create the conditions which enable artists to flourish and as many people, groups and organisations as possible to benefit from and enjoy our culture and heritage. I want to talk to you today about how we do this and set out our aspirations for how we could be so much more.”

The full transcript of her presentation is available at