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T In The Park funding to be challenged in Scottish Parliament

By | Published on Tuesday 29 September 2015

T In The Park

Scotland’s Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop is set to appear before a committee of the Scottish parliament in Holyrood to justify a government grant of £150,000 given to music festival T In The Park. The funding was provided as the popular music event moved to a new home at Strathallan Castle.

While some of Hyslop’s political rivals are questioning why such a popular commercial event needed state funding at all, others are accusing the SNP minister of “cronyism”, because an initial meeting between the Scottish government and T In The Park promoter DF Concerts – which is majority owned by live music major Live Nation – was set up by a one-time aide of former SNP leader Alex Salmond who was working for the festival firm at the time.

Ahead of a meeting of the Scottish Parliament’s education and culture committee, reps from other political parties have been busy saying that “serious questions” remain about the funding T received, with Labour MSP John Pentland telling the BBC: “We need some honesty from the SNP government about this £150,000 payment and the extent of the involvement of a former SNP adviser. At a time when the SNP government is slashing the budget for local services, people will find it difficult to understand how such a successful company needs an extra £150,000 from the taxpayer”.

A spokesperson for Hyslop says that the funding was justified, and in line with grants given to other major events in Scotland. As for the allegations of “cronyism”, the minister insists that “the awarding of this funding followed normal procedures and was based solely on the merits of the case following an objective assessment by Scottish government officials. I look forward to answering any questions the committee has”.

The move of T In The Park to Strathallan Castle was not without controversy, of course, with some opposing such a large music event taking place on the site. Although the all clear was given for the festival to take place there, some have called for an infrastructure review ahead of future editions after reported transport issues around the site this year.