Susan Aitken has hit out at Creative Scotland over its decision to axe funding for Glasgow’s Aye Write festival.

The event has been cancelled this year sparking disappointment and criticism from people including former First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon and best-selling author, Val McDermid.

The council leader said she too was “bitterly disappointed” by the Creative Scotland decision.

She said Glasgow does not get the recognition it deserves for the effort and finance it puts into staging cultural events, highlighting that Glasgow does not get any significant support from the national agencies based in Edinburgh.

Writing in her Glasgow Times column, Aitken said she hoped the festival would be back in full next year and welcomed the decision to keep the children’s Wee Write part of the festival going.

In a deliberate criticism of the agency that rejected Glasgow Life’s bid for £77,00 funding, she said: “I’m particularly keen that we are able to provide some continuity for Wee Write, which Glasgow and Scotland can’t afford to lose.

“If Creative Scotland doesn’t exist to support something as valuable as that, then many might wonder exactly what it is for.”

When it announced the decision Glasgow Life said the event is dependent on external funding.

Aitken said that investment in the arts, including literature, film and TV in recent years has been critical in establishing the city as a cultural destination and that this has been achieved through the city’s own investment and resources.

She added: “Aye Write is a perfect illustration of this: an event of national cultural significance, rooted in our city and its venues and reliant on our expertise for its success.

“But it’s also an example of how Glasgow does so much of the heavy lifting ourselves, with comparatively little support from national governments and agencies. Glasgow punches well above our weight within Scottish culture and it’s high time that got the recognition it deserves.”

She said that even in a time of budget pressure the importance of a festival like Aye Write should not be undervalued.

Aitken said: “Few in Scottish public life understand better than me the intense pressures of decreasing funding and the increasing demands on those limited resources.

“But this is a festival which brings literature and the joy of reading into the heart of communities in our biggest city while drawing genuine literary giants to Glasgow and underscoring our reputation as an international city of arts and culture.”

When the decision was announced 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.”