A new direction for Creative Scotland?

The past couple of years have been traumatic for Creative Scotland. A full-scale rebellion last year saw the then Chief Executive, Andrew Dixon, effectively forced to resign. It then took months to find a successor. Many in the arts world were taken by surprise at the choice of Janet Archer.

Janet Archer Chief Executive, Creative Scotland
Janet Archer
Chief Executive, Creative Scotland
The grumblings continued. Just last week, Scotland’s leading film producers wrote a candid memo – originally confidential but leaked – calling for immediate ­government intervention to prevent the sector’s complete demise.

Now, in her first announcement about her strategy for the organisation, Ms Archer has given film and television a much higher profile and a greater share of funding. This will involve the creation of a dedicated post – film and media director. It’s thought that this pave the way for investment in film and television productions worth more than the £4 million they currently get from Creative Scotland’s £97.5 million budget. The industry will also want an end to the current funding cap of £300,000 on major productions.

Ms Archer has issued a statement within the last few minutes. We’re publishing it below in full……..


Statement from Janet Archer, CEO Creative Scotland
Creative Scotland structure and recruitment

I am pleased to announce the first steps in our journey towards Creative Scotland’s new structure.

As I begin my fourth month as Chief Executive for the organisation, we are working hard to progress the development of our new long-term plan and as importantly, the simplification of our funding programmes. Alongside this, I want to ensure that we have the right structure in place to deliver these changes.

It’s clear to me that Creative Scotland’s management and staff are highly skilled and experienced. However our current structure isn’t as effective as it should be because it doesn’t make best use of the skills, expertise and knowledge of our staff, or enable best access to these skills. We are also currently operating with four members of our senior team on fixed term contracts. This needs to be addressed.

I want to build up a better knowledge bank of expertise within the areas we serve – the arts, screen and creative industries and make better use of the overview we hold, for the benefit of everyone working in these fields. We don’t plan to lose our commitment to working flexibly and holding a broad perspective. Many staff enjoy working across a number of disciplines alongside their core specialism, and have developed a breadth of knowledge and skills through this approach. We will ensure however that in future we will feed relevant expertise into advice, decision making, and feedback, because we know that’s what is valued.

At the same time as building a new future we need to fulfil the on-going work of the organisation as a funder and development agency that advocates and influences for everyone’s best benefit. The challenge of effective planning, change management and delivery simultaneously should not be underestimated.

My first step in meeting this challenge was to appoint Iain Munro as Deputy Chief Executive. The second has been to revise the structure of the senior leadership team to reflect our priority areas of work and mirror the three sectors that we are here to support.

As soon as is practicable, the senior team will be structured as follows, under CEO: Janet Archer

    Deputy CEO: Iain Munro
    Director of Arts and Engagement
    Director of Film and Media
    Director of Creative Industries: Caroline Parkinson
    Director of Communications: Kenneth Fowler
    Director of HR: Karen Lannigan
    Director of Strategy (12 month post)
    Director of Funding Operations
    Director of Finance

There is no increase in overall salary budget, these new posts are affordable within Creative Scotland’s existing operational budgets which are separate to the budgets we hold for funding.

Five of the Director posts now need to be filled and we will be recruiting this month, starting with the Director of Arts & Engagement; the Director of Film & Media; and the Director of Strategy. Following on from this we will also advertise the Director of Finance and the Director of Funding Operations posts.

The Director of Strategy will be a fixed term post, for 12 months in the first instance, to focus on the significant amount of planning, policy development and strategic partnership work that we need to undertake in the coming year.

I would like to emphasise that these changes are just the first step.

We will be working with our staff over the coming months to ensure that we put in place the right structure to enable us all to do our jobs effectively and provide the funding, development and advocacy that the arts, screen and creative industries deserve.

I am looking forward to strengthening our team and am excited about the potential we could unlock for artists and creative people across Scotland through this increased capacity.