Culture Manifesto

Feb 7 2016 | By More

SFEU posts manifesto for culture

The Scottish Federation of Entertainment Unions has published a manifesto for culture which it hopes will be taken up by political parties taking part in the Holyrood election in May 2016.

The Manifesto covers all areas of the arts from a Scottish film studio to the BBC licence, the definition of “out of London” TV productions and the importance of Scotland’s regional theatres.

SFEU Manifesto. Pic: @CultureCounts

SFEU Manifesto. Pic: @CultureCounts

It was launched at a meeting at Holrood this week by Equity, Bectu, the Musicians Union and the National Union of Journalists, with support from the STUC.

The full text of the manifesto is reproduced below. Anyone with an interst in putting culture first or making culture count in society, could do worse than loby their local MSP to put all or some elements of the manifesto into their party’s own manifesto for the May elections.

Those who are already members of a political party can lobby more directly to have the manifesto or elements of the manifesto included in their party’s own manifesto for the May elections.

SFEU Manifesto

February 2016

Funding and policy

Arts and Cultural Policy

  • Accessing and taking part in culture is a fundamental human right which is core to a flourishing Scotland.
  • That cultural value should inform all policy areas through a specific Outcome fo Culture within the Scottish Government’s National Performance Framework.
  • The support of local authorities for the performing arts creates significant employment and income generation across Scotland.

Arts Funding

  • To protect and grow arts funding, provided by the Scottish Government for the National Companies and Creative Scotland, to ensure that arts organisation are able to plan and develop on a sustainable basis.

Live Music and Theatre, at Home and Internationally

  • Supporting the live music and theatre sectors in Scotland through investment in touring networks, small to medium sized infrastructure and an Expo Office to develop artists ability to export and tour outside of Scotland.

Lead Body for Screen Industry

  • Resolve the issues between the SE and CS to ensure that one body has exclusive responsibility for developing the Screen Sector in Scotland.

Film Studio

  • Deliver on the promise of a Film Studio to Attract incoming films

Attract inward in vestment

  • Enhance financial and other proposals to make Scotland an attractive location for film makers

Development of home Based Industry.

  • Provide dedicated research and development funding to help grow the industry based in Scotland.

Gender Equality

  • To raise awareness of the imbalance of professional opportunities in the performing arts based on gender.
  • Support the BBC being accountable to the Scottish Parliament for its spending in Scotland
  • Ensure that the proposals in both the Smith and Calman commissions are enacted to ensure the Scottish Parliament has a meaningful involvement in the setting of the BBC Licence fee
  • Advocate that the BBC spend in Scotland should relate to the LIcence fee raised in Scotland.
  • Advocate that the licence fee income should keep pace with inflation.
  • Commitment to increased production spend across BBC Scotland. This is best served by folding in the Network Supply Review funding in the BBC Scotland programme budget to fund programs which are originated, commissioned and produced in Scotland (both in-house and independent production companies).
  • Devolve all programmes making to Scotland with the emphasis on servicing Scotland first but also being able to show any programmes on the network and enable them to be sold abroad
  • Provide a commitment to an expanded news and current affairs delivery for BBC Scotland by retaining REporting Scotland on BBC One but creating an hour long news programme at peak time every night, covering Scottish, UK and world news from a Scottish perspective.
  • Create a second radio station (BBC Scotland 1 & 2) enabling more music and drama on one station and debate and news on the other.
  • Demand investment across all genres commissioning Scottish writers for drama comedy entertainment, factual and music programmes for all audiences.
  • Funding for education content would be provided directly to BBC Scotland instead of bidding for money from BBC Learning in Salford

Change the definition of an out of London TV production to include front of Camera talent.

Fair Employment

Living Wage

  • Implement the living wage for all arts organisation in receipt of Scottish Government/ Local Authority/ Creative Scotland funding (and / or grants or ARts organisation who have a contractual relationship to manage venues) Scottish Local Authorities and the Scottish Government are living wage employees yet a great many arts organisations and theatres are run by trusts funded principally by the local authority and/or Creative Scotland., neither of which requires any obligation to observe the living wage.

Music Education

  • Free instrument tuition in schools for all young people, not just hose studying for SQA qualifications and a commitment to making Music Service provision in local authorities a core service and continuation and expansion of the Youth Music Initiative.

Expressive Arts in the Curriculum in Scotland

  • Ensure Local Authorities provide adequate resources so that the expressive arts are a key component in the Curriculum for Excellence and that all young people get the opportunity to participate in and across the expressive arts through school.
  • Provide ongoing support for the Digital Journalism Modern Apprentice scheme, while encouraging employers to work with the unions on Scottish Union Learning projects.


Details of how to loby an MSP are available on the Culture Counts website in their Toolkit section:


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