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Eden Court chief executive James Mackenzie-Blackman calls for government support to aid recovery of arts sector in the wake of coronavirus


By Gregor White

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Eden Court's business model will need to change as a result of coronavirus its head has said.
Eden Court's business model will need to change as a result of coronavirus its head has said.

The head of Eden Court in Inverness has said support for Scotland's cultural sector may be required for up to two years or longer.

In a submission to a Scottish Government inquiry into the impact of Covid-19 on the culture and tourism sectors Eden Court chief executive James Mackenzie-Blackman said: "From our conversations with artists and art organisations in the Highlands, and indeed across Scotland, it is clear that the impact of Covid-19 on the culture sector has been immediate and is likely to be long-term.

"The sector will not 'bounce back' overnight or return to 'normal' when restrictions on social distancing are lifted."

James Mackenzie-Blackman is determined the currently mothballed venue will survive the current crisis.
James Mackenzie-Blackman is determined the currently mothballed venue will survive the current crisis.

He calls for an "organisation-led and "artist-led" approach to support recovery and adds: "This recovery will need government support."

He says support should last 12-24 months, "perhaps longer".

He also calls for support for freelance artists and says it is accepted that the Eden Court business model "will need to evolve".

He adds: "That our relationships with our community will need to grow even deeper and that we will need to work collaboratively with artists, organisations and venues across Scotland in ways that have not occurred before."

Related article: Head of Eden Court insists it will be back

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