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Art gallery: Sturgeon apology over claims on funding applications.

Byline: JON HEBDITCH

Nicola Sturgeon has apologised over her previous claims on the funding arrangements for Aberdeen Art Gallery.

The first minister recently claimed the city council had not applied for Scottish Government funding in planning stages for the PS34.6m revamp.

She made the statement in response to a question from north-east Tory MSP Tom Mason, who was comparing the millions in government funding for Dundee's V&A to the gallery revamp.

However, city council co-leader Douglas Lumsden has since provided letters that showed the local authority had applied for Creative Scotland grants in 2013 and 2016 - appealing for the Scottish Government to match-fund a UK Government grant.

Both bids were not progressed.

Mr Mason, also a city councillor, asked Ms Sturgeon to apologise at first minister's questions for "misleading this chamber".

She responded: "I have, I believe, already written to Tom Mason and indeed to the presiding officer.

"It is the case that no approach was made to the Scottish Government or Historic Environment Scotland during the planning or business case stages.

"An application was made to Creative Scotland in 2013 which was not successful. I was not aware of that application when I answered the question last week and for that I apologise."

She said there was no political motivation for the decision to reject the bid.

CAPTION(S):

OPENING: A wrangle broke out over funding for the revamp of Aberdeen Art Gallery. Photograph by Kath Flannery

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Author:JON HEBDITCH
Publication:The Press and Journal (Aberdeen,Scotland)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Nov 8, 2019
Words:240
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