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As from 1 July 2010, this site will no longer be updated and will be retained for Archive purposes only.

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Our vision

Our vision is of a confident, cultured Scotland where everyone takes part in the arts.  Read our Quick Guide - Scottish Arts Council (pdf) for further information.

Our mission

Our mission is to serve the people of Scotland by fostering arts of the highest quality through investment, research and advocacy. We believe the arts to be the foundation of a confident and cultured society. They challenge and inspire us. They bring beauty, excitement and happiness into our lives. They help us to express our identity as individuals, as communities and as a nation.

We offer a unique national perspective on the arts and their audiences. Our strategic leadership – development, funding and advocacy – is underpinned by specialist knowledge and experience in the management and delivery of the arts at national and international level.

The Scottish Arts Council’s Business Plan 2009/10 outlines our vision, aims, priorities and plans for the year.  In it, we describe our focus on providing a service to the sector and the public which offers continuity and stability through times of change. 

There are four dominant themes which underpin the plan:

  • working collaboratively with partners;
  • continuing to implement the direction we set in our Strategic Review in 2005/06;
  • working towards the opening of Creative Scotland (now scheduled for April 2010);
  • inviting fresh approaches and new ways of working from ourselves and the sector to increase resilience.

A new company, Creative Scotland 2009 Ltd, has been established under the chairmanship of Ewan Brown.  Subject to legislation in 2009, the Public Service Reform Bill, Creative Scotland will become the new lead body for arts and screen industries in Scotland, replacing the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen.  We will be working with Scottish Screen and Creative Scotland 2009 Ltd to make the necessary practical arrangements for merger but we also look forward to embarking on an ambitious joint development programme with Scottish Screen and Creative Scotland 2009 to support strategic developments which reflect the ambition and scope of the new body.


As a public body, the Scottish Arts Council is dedicated to rigorous standards of integrity; excellent; commitment to learning and to working in partnership with others. We strive to be open and equitable in all our work and mindful of our social responsibilities.

In essence:

Excellence in the arts and in our organisation.
Creativity in the arts and in our work.
Inclusion for everyone in all forms of the arts.
Partnership with those who will help us to promote the arts.
Openness in all our dealings.


To support artists and arts organisations in Scotland to fulfil their creative and business potential
To increase participation in the arts
To place the arts, culture and creativity at the heart of learning.


We will:

  1. increase the scope and quality of our support to artists
  2. secure the foundation of Scotland’s artistic development
  3. create flexibility to support the new and the innovative
  4. create opportunities for participation in the arts
  5. build a culture of co-operation with partners and the arts community
  6. make the transition to Creative Scotland.


Our Quality Framework (QF) was launched in 2007 as a developmental tool to encourage continuous improvement in our own work and in the work of the organisations we fund.  We worked closely with arts organisations to review, refine and further develop the QF as well as commissioning an independent evaluation. 

The evaluation found that the main benefits of the QF are encouraging organisations to think about key aspects of their delivery and  to raise questions which promote critical thought. The QF is supporting processes of organisational change by helping with self assessment, developing a more consolidated and rounded approach to planning, monitoring and review.  The evaluation also found that the QF has resulted in ‘improvement in tandem’, in addition to supporting funded organisations to develop it has challenged and helped to improve Scottish Arts Council practice.

The second edition of our Quality Framework (Spring 2009) builds on the recommendations which came through the evaluation.

Download the QF second edition (pdf).

Eastgate theatre seating; Photo: Michael Wolchover
Dancebase in Edinburgh; Photo: Michael Wolchover
New Dynamics project in Kinlochleven; Photo: Fin Macrae
Fireworks; Photo: Renzo Mazzolini
Dancebase in Edinburgh; Photo: Michael Wolchover
Age of Creativity:  An Tuireann; Photo: Graham McIver
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