Street address: Victoria Quay, Edinburgh EH6 6QQ, Scotland, United Kingdom
Telephone: 44 (0) 131 556 8400
Fax: 44 (0) 131 244 8240
Contact: Alex Salmond MSP First Minister
Contact: Nicola Sturgeon MSP Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary, Health and Wellbeing
Contact: Adam Ingram MSP Minister for Children and Early Years
Contact: Stewart Maxwell MSP Minister for Communities and Sport
Contact: Fergus Ewing MSP Minister for Community Safety
Contact: Jim Mather MSP Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism
Contact: Michael Russell MSP Minister for Environment
Contact: Linda Fabiani MSP Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture
Contact: Bruce Crawford MSP Minister for Parliamentary Business
Contact: Shona Robison MSP Minister for Public Health
Contact: Maureen Watt MSP Minister for Schools and Skills
Contact: Stewart Stevenson MSP Minister for Transport, Infrastructure & Climate Change
Contact: Fiona Hyslop MSP Cabinet Secretary, Education and Lifelong Learning
Contact: John Swinney MSP Cabinet Secretary, Finance and Sustainable Growth
Contact: Kenny MacAskill MSP Cabinet Secretary, Justice
Contact: Richard Lochhead MSP Cabinet Secretary, Rural Affairs and the Environment
The Scottish Government is the devolved government for Scotland, responsible for most issues of day-to-day concern to its citizens, including health, education, justice, rural affairs and transport as well as arts, culture and heritage.
Established in 1999 as the Scottish Executive following the first elections to the Scottish Parliament, it was rebranded as the Scottish Government following the Scottish Parliamentary Elections of 2007, which brought to power Scotland's first minority Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) administration, formed through a coalition with the Green Party. Legally it remains known as the Scottish Executive.
The Scottish Government is led by a First Minister who is nominated by the Parliament and in turn appoints the other Scottish Ministers who make up the Cabinet. Scottish Government civil servants are accountable to Scottish Ministers, who are themselves accountable to the Scottish Parliament.
Under its National Cultural Strategy of 2000, the Scottish Government aims to encourage the widest possible participation in a vigorous and diverse cultural life, bringing benefits to both artists and audiences, communities and individuals. Overall responsibility currently lies with the Minister for Europe, External Affairs and Culture, while the Scottish Parliament's views are represented on the Education, Lifelong Learning and Culture Committee. The Scottish Government provides support to the sector on both a direct and 'arm's-length' basis, chiefly through the Scottish Arts Council, but also via national institutions such as the National Galleries of Scotland, National Museums of Scotland and National Library of Scotland, and the national companies: Scottish Opera, Scottish Ballet, Royal Scottish National Orchestra (RSNO) and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra.
Following a comprehensive national cultural review in 2004-5 and publication of a cultural policy document entitled Scotland's Culture in 2006, major changes to Scotland's cultural infrastructure have been proposed in a Draft Culture (Scotland) Bill - including the amalgamation of the Scottish Arts Council and Scottish Screen to form a single new body known as 'Creative Scotland' which will advise, support and invest in the arts and creative and screen industries across Scotland. At the time of going to press, following the end of the consultation period and the 2007 Scottish Parliamentary elections, the decision by the new administration on whether to introduce a revised Culture (Scotland) Bill to the Scottish Parliament is awaited. Meanwhile a Transition Project to support the establishment of Creative Scotland commenced work in December 2007, based at White Space, a unique £2.5 million knowledge environment developed for its students, staff and local businesses by the University of Abertay.
Boosting Scotland's profile and performance at an international level is among the Scottish Government's key priorites, across a wide range of policy areas. Arts and culture are seen as having a key role in realising these goals: in building communication and exchange with other countries, and in harnessing Scotland's creativity to promote its presence on the 21st-century global stage.
See also the Scottish Parliament entry for a list of culture spokespersons in the Scottish Parliament and their staff.
Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) - Advisory
Non-Departmental Public Bodies (NDPBs) - Executive
National Performing Companies