MSP holds art talks with council

SNP MSP Aileen MacLeod held emergency talks last week with senior council officers to discuss the future of the arts and creative industries following the collapse of dgArts.

Along with fellow-SNP member Joan McAlpine, Dr MacLeod highlighted the urgency to find a replacement for the organisations, which had its funding pulled this month.

The MSPs previously met with Creative Scotland, the arts agency that distributes funds and which will attend a summit with the council and the independent arts sector in Dalbeattie on October 28.

The MSP said the region was building up an international reputation as a centre of creativity – as evidenced by the recent Saltire Award for the Stranraer Castle Square project with three out of four of the nominees for the Art in Architecture Award 2011 were from the Dumfries and Galloway. But she said that Creative Scotland needed to have a point of contact in Dumfries and Galloway in order to channel their support.

Dr MacLeod said: “The Saltire Award has put Dumfries and Galloway, the home of environmental art, on the map. Our artists are incredibly talented and contribute greatly to making our landscape even more beautiful. I would encourage all to attend the award-winning site in Stranraer.

“I am pleased that despite the gap left by DGArts, our creative industries in Dumfries and Galloway are going from strength to strength. We should do everything possible to support this growth. The demise of DGArts is sad, particularly for those who have lost their jobs. But we must all now work together to ensure that threatened projects go ahead, that nobody else loses out and that Dumfries and Galloway get the funds to which it is entitled.”