Leading names from Scottish Arts & Culture have backed the SNP’s campaign for a Scottish Digital Network.
The call came from 20 artists, actors, comedians, musicians and writers in an open letter published in today’s Sunday Herald. Amongst others, the signatories include authors AL Kennedy, James Robertson and Iain Banks, actor Alan Cumming and Edinburgh International Festival Director Jonathan Mills.
The SNP government has led the campaign for the network which would boost the creative industries in Scotland and open up opportunities for Scottish talent.
The letter states: “Scottish viewers should enjoy the kind of dedicated broadcasting service that is taken for granted in comparable territories all around Europe. There is clear audience demand, there is all-party support in the Scottish Parliament and there is a glaring public service deficit in the current arrangements.”
Welcoming the letter, Minister for Culture and SNP candidate for Linlithgow Fiona Hyslop said:
“The SNP knows how vital the creative industries are to Scotland’s culture, identity as well as our economy, employing more people than the financial services. That’s why I am delighted that so many talented people from Scotland’s creative community are supporting the campaign for a Scottish Digital Network.
“A Scottish Digital Network would provide opportunities for the abundance of Scottish talent in our creative industries to bolster Scotland’s creative economy for years to come.
“It is time UK Government acted on the strong support throughout Scotland for our own network. It is now a matter when a network will be established rather than if.”
However, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport of the Westminster Government said it would not consider funding a Scottish network until 2017-18 at the earliest. A spokesperson said: “Scotland is served by excellent public service broadcasting by BBC Scotland, MG Alba and STV. The BBC licence fee has been settled until the end of the current BBC charter.”