Final chapter for Skye Book Festival?

This year’s Skye Book Festival has been cancelled because Creative Scotland refused to allocate the £10,500 of required funding.

The organising committee of Cleas, the charity that ran the book festival, were informed of the decision last month.

Donald MacDonald, managing director of the Aros Centre in Portree, submitted the application last last year on behalf of Cleas. He said a full programme of authors and events had already been booked up when the committee received the bad news.

“The thing that’s really disappointing is that Creative Scotland have pumped more money into in other events, such as the Edinburgh Book Festival. It is not fair in terms of geographical spread and centralisation – it is much harder to make something work on the periphery.”

Mr MacDonald said it takes a month to complete an application and six weeks for Creative Scotland to make a decision. “We had everyone lines up and the accommodation booked by the time we found out that we were going to get nothing,” he added.

A spokeswoman for Creative Scotland said: “Open Project Funding, to which the Skye Book Festival applied, is designed to support individual artists and organisations across geography and art-form and demand is extremely high.  We receive many more good applications than we have the funds to support. We are currently able to fund around 30 per cent of applications within the limits of the funding we have available. Open Project Funding is just one route to funding however and we were pleased to support the festival with £5,000 through our partnership with Big Lottery on the Awards For All programme.”

(Pictured at last year’s festival – Graeme Macrae Burnet being interviewed by his uncle, Alasdair Macrae).