A Scottish Government commitment to the future funding of Scottish traditional culture was welcomed by Highlands and Islands SNP MSP Rob Gibson this week.
The commitment came from Culture Minister Linda Fabiani during a recent exchange in Parliament.
At Question Time Ms Fabiani confirmed that the Scottish Arts Council development managers had been asked to present a paper on all the outstanding strategic issues affecting organisations such as the Scottish Language Dictionaries, the Scots Language Centre, the Traditional Music and Song Association, the Scots Music Group and the Scottish Traditions of Dance group. This follows months of uncertainty when flexible funding was withdrawn from these bodies in a surprise move last May.
A musician and former traditional music festival organiser, Mr Gibson said..
"The widespread alarm about cuts in funding and the recent demonstration at the Scottish Parliament received a positive response from Linda Fabiani. She has confirmed that organisations that missed out on flexible funding would be meeting with SAC in the very near future to discuss the matter.
" I was outraged to find out from the SNP Culture Minister that in 2006 ring fenced funding for the trad arts was stopped. That means that under the Labour LibDem Executive the Scottish Arts Council reduced the guarantees for our unique indigenous music. Surely a potentially damaging move in the days of the then culture minister, Labour's Patricia Ferguson should have raised alarm bells.
" I am delighted that Linda Fabiani is considering this situation carefully and are what can be done to safeguard our traditional arts."
"At last we have a Minister and Government which is committed to all parts of our culture. Traditional arts funding has far from ended as bodies like the Feisean Movement, Blas Festival and Celtic Connections are major beneficiaries, however those that feel aggrieved at a loss of funding will no doubt be heartened by the Minister's response."
"Traditional arts are part of the very soul of Scotland. I am glad to see Linda Fabiani making it a priority and working hard to come to a solution which will ensure its sustainable development."