'Make Scotland a cultural superpower', Labour urges SNP candidates

Anas Sarwar warned many pubs, clubs and venues face closure due to soaring costs without help from the government.

Anas Sarwar calls on SNP leadership candidates to boost Scotland’s ‘cultural superpower’ status iStock

SNP leadership candidates are being urged to turn Scotland into a “cultural superpower” by giving fresh support to the music and nightlife sector.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said Glasgow’s night-time economy was once the “lifeblood of the city”, but pubs, clubs and venues have been hit hard by the cost of living crisis.

Speaking ahead of a visit to the Barrowlands – one of the country’s most famous music venues – Sarwar said the leadership race could give the next first minister a chance to get the industry “back on track”.

Sarwar said: “Glasgow’s night-time economy was once the lifeblood of our city. Now it is struggling to carry on, with soaring costs forcing many businesses to close for good.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar said Scotland's culture sector needed more support.STV News

“This problem is not unique to Glasgow. Across Scotland, businesses are reporting a 130% increase in energy costs, a loss in sales, and many owners fearing they may not even make it through the next 12 months.

“Our culture sector is in desperate need of help, but instead of getting it they have received another blow from the SNP and Greens with the badly planned and badly implemented deposit return scheme.”

He added: “The new first minister has an opportunity to end the SNP’s economic illiteracy and anti-business agenda, and instead return Scotland to the cultural superpower it has always been.

“A Labour government would deliver a real windfall tax on excess oil and gas profits and increase the funding available in Scotland for business rates relief.

“Whoever replaces Nicola Sturgeon must listen to the night-time economy and get our culture sector back on track.”

Responses to come…

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