Humza Yousaf said he will look at what support the Scottish Government can give to save Glasgow’s Aye Write festival.

The event has been cancelled by Glasgow Life just weeks before it was due to start.

It said it was refused £77,500 from Creative Scotland and that as the event was dependent on external funding and as it was refused, the festival will not take place this year.

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Humza Yousaf was quizzed about the funding decision at First Minister’s Questions by Glasgow Conservative MSP, Annie Wells, who asked for details of the decision-making.

She said: “Aye Write book festival which has been running in Glasgow for nearly 20 years has been cancelled this year just weeks before it was due to return after its funding bid was rejected by Creative Scotland.

“This comes just weeks after it was revealed that the quango initially awarded an explicit film £85,000.

“Can the First Minister clarify Creative Scotland’s prioritisation process in cultural funding decisions and what steps the Scottish Government is taking to safeguard the diversity and vibrancy of Glasgow’s cultural landscape.”

The First Minister agreed it was a fantastic event and said he would explore the matter further.

Yousaf said: “Aye Write is a fantastic festival. Anybody that has had the pleasure of being able to attend its events in the past knows the value that it brings not just to the city but indeed, I would suggest to the country as a whole.

“These decisions are for Creative Scotland to make independently of the Scottish Government ministers.

“Nonetheless, having been alerted to the news I will look at what potential support the Scottish Government can provide, because Annie Wells is right, Aye Write is a fantastic festival and I would say it is something of a cultural icon and institution within our festival and cultural landscape, so I will examine the issue.”

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After the news of the cancellation, former first minister, Nicola Sturgeon said it was “really bad news”.

She said: “I know money is tight but very much hope that a way is found to get Aye Write back on track.

“Books, culture generally, are so vital to our wellbeing – and never more so than in the troubled times we live in today.

“Book festivals are opportunities to celebrate the wonder of literature and those who create it. We mustn’t lose that.”

A spokesperson for Creative Scotland said: “We recognise the significance of Aye Write to audiences and the literature sector and understand that this is disappointing news.

“The National Lottery open fund for organisations remains available to Aye Write to apply for further funding, and we welcome future applications.

"As demand for these funds continues to increase, Creative Scotland also continues to advocate for more resources to support culture and creativity across Scotland.”

A spokesperson for Glasgow Life said: "Their delivery is dependent on securing external funding and while bids for funding support continue to exceed monies available, especially during the current difficult economic climate, some events will inevitably miss out.

“Our 2024 funding application to Creative Scotland was not successful so Aye Write and Wee Write will not be able to take place as festivals this year. We appreciate this will cause considerable disappointment.”