Scotland’s national audience development agency, Culture Republic, will cease trading on 30 August 2018 following 14 years of operations after its bid to Creative Scotland for RFO funding was not supported.
The closure affects 15 employees and a large number of member arts and cultural organisations who have worked together for over a decade to analyse, grow and diversify cultural audiences and engagement across Scotland.
Professor Alan Wilson, Chair of Culture Republic, said:
“Today we informed staff and key stakeholders that regrettably, Culture Republic will cease trading on 30 August. We are particularly sorry for the impact this announcement will have on our employees – and our diverse national membership – and we will support everyone affected.
“This decision was very difficult and was taken following a major review of the company after our bid to Creative Scotland for RFO funding was not supported. The ongoing lack of clarity at a national level of the role of data, digital and audience development – essential to helping Scotland’s cultural organisations understand, grow and diversify their audiences – also made planning for a financially sustainable future impossible.
“We recognise this is a very difficult time for all staff and we are now in the formal process of redundancy consultations with all employees and contacting our members and partners regarding the completion of outstanding project work.
“The Board would like to thank CEO Julie Tait and her team for 14 years of dedication, professionalism and loyalty and hope the legacy of our work and mission can be continued.”
Since the RFO announcement, the Board of Culture Republic has explored a number of different business models and cost-cutting measures, however with no endorsement, funding or long-term investment, regrettably concluded it had no option but to cease trading. The organisation is now in the process of contacting its existing partners and clients directly to thank them for their engagement and support and discuss outstanding research, data analysis and project work.
Julie Tait, Chief Executive of Culture Republic said:
“It is with huge disappointment that we close our doors at a time when data and digital technology – and the skills and experience to use them – have never been more essential to drive inclusion, attendance and rapid change across the arts in Scotland.
“We have worked across the country and with inspiring cultural organisations to help understand, attract and diversify their audiences, but were also in the uncomfortable position of competing with them for RFO funds. I’d like to pay tribute to all of our talented staff and committed partners and clients – and wish them every success for the future.
“We will work with Creative Scotland in the short time available to ensure that the audience insight and trend data we have gathered over the last 14 years – including our innovative software development, digital hub and online tools – are preserved where possible.”