THE chief executive of the Gaiety Theatre says he is thrilled that the Scottish Government has chosen to invest £16 million into the culture sector.

Jeremy Wyatt says he’s not yet sure how the money will be spent – or indeed if any will come to the Gaiety at all.

But he says that if it does it will be a major boost to the theatre’s offering and to people in Ayrshire.

He said: “We obviously welcome the announcement of more Scottish Government support for culture. Theatre and the arts can make a big contribution to everyone’s wellbeing. Hundreds of people have told me incredible stories of how much difference coming to a show, or taking part in community activity, has made to them in recent months.

“I’m sure this funding will help as we all move forward. At this stage we don’t know how the funding will be spent or if any will come to The Gaiety.

“But if it does, I can promise it will mean more great nights out and more creative activity for more people in Ayrshire.

“We’ll focus particularly people who are struggling at the moment and need a bit of the sort of joy and support that we can deliver.”

A £16 million cash boost to help the culture sector after it was hit hard by coronavirus restrictions will “provide a lifeline for many”, Creative Scotland said.

The arts organisation welcomed the additional funding from the Scottish Government, announced after Omicron restrictions resulted in events being cancelled and venues shut down over the normally busy festive period.

While those have now ended, Culture Minister Neil Gray said the culture, heritage and creative industries had been amongst those “hardest hit by the pandemic”.

The additional cash will see Creative Scotland receive £12 million – with this to be split between a hardship fund to help freelancers, a recovery fund for cultural organisations, and support for Edinburgh Festivals celebrating their 75th year.

In addition, EventScotland will receive £2 million, increasing support for its national and international events programmes.

There will also be £2 million for the Museums Recovery Fund to support a wider range of venues.

Mr Gray said: “This further £16 million in support for the culture events, heritage and creative industries recognises how much we value these sectors which have been among those hit hardest by the pandemic.

“As we embark on our recovery, cultural activity has a pivotal role to play in reinvigorating our economy and communities as well as promoting individual well-being.

“Since the beginning of the pandemic the Government has announced more than £240 million for culture and events and we are continuing to work closely with these sectors as they rebuild audience confidence.”