Lights out at Scottish Youth Theatre


The charity has said that funding cuts have left it with no other option but to close

8th March 2018 by Gareth Jones 1 Comment

The Scottish Youth Theatre is set to close its doors after more than four decades, having had its funding slashed.

Actors such as Gerard Butler and Karen Gillan are amongst those who have been supported by the charity.

However theatre bosses have said that they have no other option but to close, after having their funding for 2018-2021 massively reduced.

Chief executive Jacky Hardacre said that the reduction in funding from Creative Scotland amounted to a third of the theatre’s income.

She said: "After the news from Creative Scotland we have worked on many business models, a variety of cost cutting exercises and discussed how we can better collaborate to share costs and resources with like-minded organisations.

"However, sadly, without a realistic expectation that we would be successful in securing financial support in such a limited time to meet the significant funding gap, we are left with no other realistic option but to cease trading on 31 July 2018."

The theatre’s summer programme will be delivered, and the charity urged supporters to turn out in force for remaining events. The theatre’s patrons include Brian Cox, Emma Thompson, Billy Boyd and Alan Cumming.

Creative Scotland said that reduced funds meant it was unable to provide funding to the theatre.

"Creative Scotland is fully committed to supporting access to creativity for young people through the organisations we fund across Scotland,” a spokesman said.

"Youth arts are well represented in the network of regularly funded organisations, with more than 80% of them including work with or for children and young people.

David Watt, chief executive of the charity Arts & Business Scotland, said: “Scottish Youth Theatre has been a stalwart of the Scottish arts scene for over 40 years and has provided an exceptional creative platform for the country’s young performing arts talent.

“As such, its disappearance will come as a major blow to Scotland’s cultural scene and leaves a void that will be very hard to fill.”

The closure plans were dicussed at First Minister's Questions in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon (Thursday). Green MSP Patrick Harvie called for the government to step in to save the charity from closure.

"To lose our national youth theatre company in the Year of Young People is a national embarrassment," he said. "To lose it due to the decision making of a public body, which has lost the confidence of so many in the creative sector, even after it had an excellent outcome from the budget process is immensely frustrating."

Nicola Sturgeon said that she was sympathetic and that all options to keep the theatre open will be explored, but that the government can't intervene in funding decisions.

19th March 2018 by maxxmacc

If they have only lost one third of their funding what's the problem. Can't they scale back a bit. Everyone else is having to tighten their belts so why not the luvvies?