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23 Questions for October 23rd - What the Royal Botanic Gardens Edinburgh's Board of Trustees need to answer on the day they close Inverleith House

1 - Would the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh's Board of Trustees agree that Inverleith House is a major international public artistic asset?

2 – If so, could the Board of Trustees explain why they have chosen to close Inverleith House down as a contemporary art gallery without notice?

3 - Could the Board of Trustees clarify what Creative Scotland's explicit expression of 'disappointment' with the Trustees' decision to close Inverleith House as a contemporary artspace without notice might refer to?

4 – Given that the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is a publicly funded body, could the Board of Trustees provide the minutes of the meeting at which the decision to close Inverleith House as a contemporary art gallery took place, presumably at the Board's quarterly meeting on October 5th 2016?

5 – As a publicly funded body, could the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh's Board of Trustees also provide a list of all those in attendance at the meeting where the decision was taken?

6 - Given that the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Inverleith House are public assets directly funded by the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland, could the Board of Trustees clarify what level of public consultation was undertaken prior to their decision?

7 - Could the Board of Trustees also clarify who contributed to any public consultation?

8 – Could the Trustees also clarify where any information collected by any public consultation is published as is required by law concerning any public body?

9 – Creative Scotland's 'disappointment' at the decision taken by the Board of Trustees suggests that Inverleith House is at no financial risk in the immediate future. Can the Board confirm that is the case?

10 – It is a matter of public record that Creative Scotland awarded the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh some £80,000 project funding for four projects at Inverleith House during 2016/17. The projects were British Art Show 8, a thirtieth anniversary exhibition, a publication and the writing of a Strategic Report to provide recommendations for the sustainable future of Inverleith House as a contemporary art gallery between 2017-2021. Could the Board of Trustees clarify what recommendations were made for the future of Inverleith House in the Strategic Report?

11 - If the recommendations contained within the Strategic Report were that Inverleith House should continue as a contemporary art gallery, can the Board of Trustees clarify why they did not vigorously pursue these recommendations, but instead chose to close the building as a contemporary art gallery instead?

12 - Could the Board of Trustees clarify what was meant by the phrase quoted in the Herald newspaper and attributed to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh's Regius Keeper that Inverleith House is unable to “wash it's face” financially?

13 - Given the use of the phrase, does the Board of Trustees regard the public assets of the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Inverleith House solely as a business?

14 - Could the Board of Trustees clarify why Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Inverleith House staff have been advised not to speak to the media?

15 - If Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh and Inverleith House staff were to speak to the media, could the Board of Trustees clarify what the consequences of such actions would be?

16 - Could the Board of Trustees clarify why the Strategic Report for the publicly funded Inverleith House and paid for by public money from Creative Scotland is being withheld from public and press scrutiny?

17 – The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh received substantial amounts of National Lottery funding in 1990 and 2003 for the upgrade of Inverleith House specifically in relation to the building's status as a contemporary art gallery. As the Board of Trustees has stated that Inverleith House will no longer function as a contemporary art gallery, will the change of use mean that at least £143,000 worth of National Lottery funds given to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh will now be returned?
 
18- If the Board of Trustees does not intend returning at least £143,000 worth of National Lottery funds granted to the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh in relation to Inverleith House's specific status as a contemporary art gallery, given the intended change of use of the building, could they clarify why this is the case?

19 – Could the Board of Trustees clarify what future use for Inverleith House is planned, provide costings and clarify the financial advantages of this option, alongside any accurately costed options for alternative uses of the building discussed at the meeting of October 5th 2016?

20 - Could the Board of Trustees confirm if any discussions have taken place in respect of any proposals to convert Inverleith House into a hotel, wedding venue or other commercial use?

21 – There has been a widespread sense of outrage and dismay generated in response to the Board of Trustees' decision to close Inverleith House as a contemporary art gallery, both among the artistic community and the wider public who the Board of Trustees are accountable to. Would the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh's Board of Trustees agree that those who took the decision to close Inverleith House as a contemporary art gallery are responsible for a major act of cultural and civic vandalism caused by their actions, and which undermines the international importance of Scottish art?

22 – If the Board of Trustees does not agree that those who took the decision to close Inverleith House as a contemporary art gallery are responsible for a major act of cultural and civic vandalism, in what ways do they believe the decision to close Inverleith House as a contemporary art gallery is of any benefit to the public?

23 – If the Board of Trustees does agree that those who took the decision to close Inverleith House as a contemporary art gallery are responsible for a major act of cultural and civic vandalism, could they clarify in what ways they believe those responsible for the decision to close Inverleith House as a gallery are in any way fit for office?

Product, October 23rd 2016


ends

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