SOUTH Scotland MSPs Craig Hoy and Martin Whitfield have raised concerns in the Scottish Parliament over the future of the Lammermuir Festival.

Representatives of the classical music festival say its future is in doubt after Creative Scotland did not financially support it this year.

“Fair work” and not meeting “equality, diversity and inclusion” criteria were among the reasons given by the public body for not awarding funding to the Lammermuir Festival in 2023, which had to use its own reserves to ensure its concerts could go ahead.

Since 2011, it has received a total of £615,929 from Creative Scotland; last year, it was awarded £90,000.

READ MORE: East Lothian festival's future 'under threat' as funding is cut

During a Scottish Parliament debate on supporting Scotland’s culture sector earlier this month, Mr Hoy (Conservative) questioned Angus Robertson MSP, the Secretary for Cultural Affairs, on whether the Scottish Government would offer more funding to Creative Scotland.

Mr Hoy said: “Is Mr Robertson aware that the future of the Lammermuir Festival in East Lothian is in doubt, after Creative Scotland withdrew all funding from the programme this year?

“When I spoke with Creative Scotland earlier this month, they said that they were facing the double whammy of cuts to their own budget and increased requests from arts and music bodies hit hard by the withdrawal of funding from councils, themselves subject to swingeing SNP real-terms cuts.

“Isn’t it the case that Scotland’s arts and heritage need core funding today, and not headline-grabbing promises for tomorrow?”

In his response, Mr Robertson said that “due diligence” was required to ensure an increase in funding could happen.

READ MORE: Lammermuir Festival defends its diversity as funding is withdrawn

He said: “Colleagues across the chamber will appreciate the complex funding for arts and culture.

“Funding is provided by the Scottish Government, local government and by philanthropy.

“Even within the Scottish Government, funding is granted through a variety of means, including to Creative Scotland, including the screen sector.

“Due diligence is needed to ensure that the increase in funding over the next five years is directed for maximum impact.”

Mr Whitfield (Labour) also raised concerns about the festival during Portfolio Question Time on the same day, asking Mr Robertson about the effect the funding cut could have on the festival’s future.

He said: “I had already written to the cabinet secretary about my concerns for the future of Lammermuir Festival, but was pleased to raise the matter with him again in the chamber.

“The decision to cut the festival’s funding is a hammer blow to one of Scotland’s most critically acclaimed live music events, which also makes such an important cultural and economic contribution to East Lothian.

“I don’t think it is good enough for the Government to simply pass the buck to Creative Scotland. I will continue to press for a reversal of the decision to enable the festival to continue its excellent work.”

Mr Robertson said: “It will be no surprise to [Mr Whitfield] that I repeat the point that financial decisions by Creative Scotland in relation to specific organisations or events are for Creative Scotland, and it is not for Government ministers to be directly involved in them.”

The September 7-18 festival, which was first held in 2010, featured more than 30 performances at a dozen venues.