Government must step in to save Youth Theatre

Today I called for the Scottish Government to step in and secure the future of the Scottish Youth Theatre.

In what can only be seen as an embarrassment for the Government, The Scottish Youth Theatre will cease to trade during the Scottish Government’s ‘Year of Young People’ due to a lack of funding.

It was announced this week that the theatre will close on the 31st of July after it was unsuccessful in securing 3-year regular funding from Creative Scotland. The Scottish Government previously funded the youth theatre with support from Clyde Blowers following financial difficulties in 2014.

The Scottish Government cannot sit idly by and watch such a popular cultural institution shut down. The Scottish Youth Theatre has seen many of the country’s most successful talents tread their boards. This opportunity cannot be lost to future generations.

Previous alumni of the Youth Theatre include stars such as Karen Gillan, Gerald Butler, Emma Thompson and Billy Boyd.

The controversial funding announcement from Creative Scotland has already led to its chief executive apologising to the Culture Committee for the delivery of the process. Creative Scotland’s funding programme has been poorly handled from the very beginning and we are now seeing the consequences of Creative Scotland’s decisions and the Scottish Government’s inaction.

If the Scottish Government are serious about 2018 being the year of the young people, then the First Minister must now step in and secure the future of the Youth Theatre.

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