At the Coalition's arts cuts begin to bite, this paper recalls a similar episode 30 years ago, when the Thatcher Government tried to reduce arts funding. In the early 1980s Scottish Opera faced bankruptcy after running up £750,000 in debts against a background of falling levels of public subsidy. The Scottish Arts Council, its main funder, argued that the company needed to be downsized, to save costs. However, Scottish Opera refused to accept this solution, winning over the support of the Conservative Secretary of State for Scotland, George Younger, who agreed a £40,000 bail out. This paper examines how Scottish Opera made the case for special dispensation, what impact his had on the rest of the arts in Scotland, and how the decision ultimately undermined the arm's-length principle as the cornerstone of arts funding in post-war Scotland.
|Title of host publication
|Unpublished - 1 Jan 1990
| Subsidy, Patronage and Sponsorship Conference - London
Duration: 19 Jul 2012 → 21 Jul 2012
|Subsidy, Patronage and Sponsorship Conference
|19/07/12 → 21/07/12