Page last updated at 07:31 GMT, Thursday, 4 September 2008 08:31 UK

Performers to protest at Holyrood

fiddle player
The arts council said it supports a "wide range" of traditional arts

Traditional musicians and performers are due to hold a demonstration outside the Scottish Parliament on Thursday to protest against cuts in funding.

The Scottish Music Group claimed that grassroots organisations had lost out in funding from the Scottish Arts Council (SAC).

It said this was "disastrous" for Scots music, dance and song.

The SAC said there had been no change in policy and it continued "to support a wide range of traditional arts".

A number of celebrities, including the actress Ashley Jensen and percussionist, Evelyn Glennie, have pledged their support for a campaign to urge a change of heart on funding for another of the groups, Scottish Traditions of Dance Trust.

We unequivocally appreciate the role and value of the traditional arts
Scottish Arts Council spokeswoman

It takes traditional dance to schools and the wider public through workshops.

Its director, Angela Dreyer-Larsen, said funding was "absolutely essential, otherwise the traditions will die".

She added: "It's not something you can just lift and lay."

Ms Dreyer-Larsen said without funding the organisation would probably fold and an archive of traditional Scottish dance could be under threat.

Flexible funding

Earlier this year, the SAC announced its flexible funding grants for the coming two years.

Among the organisations whose funding was cut were the Scottish Music Group, the Scottish Traditions of Dance Trust and the Traditional Music of Scotland Association.

A spokeswoman for the SAC said: "We unequivocally appreciate the role and value of the traditional arts and we have held preliminary discussions at a national level with representatives of the sector to look at how they can be supported into the future to continue to play a full part in the creative life of Scotland."

She added that up to 300,000 of resources had been identified which could be used to take that forward.


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