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Audit Scotland to investigate T In The Park grant

By | Published on Wednesday 11 November 2015

T In The Park

Audit Scotland – which exists to provide “independent assurance to the people of Scotland that public money is spent properly, efficiently and effectively” – will investigate the £150,000 the Scottish government gave to T In The Park promoter DF Concerts – a Live Nation subsidiary – to help cover the costs of relocating the music festival to a new site earlier this year.

As previously reported, some have criticised Scotland’s Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop for providing the funding. Some of Hyslop’s political rivals have questioned why such a popular commercial event needed state funding at all, while others have accused the SNP minister of “cronyism”, because an initial meeting between the Scottish government and DF Concerts was set up by a one-time aide of former SNP leader Alex Salmond who was working for the festival firm at the time.

When the grant was recently discussed by a committee of the Scottish Parliament, Hyslop insisted that she was not aware that a former SNP aide had brokered her meeting with DF, adding that she was simply “standing up for T In The Park” when she provided assistance with the costs the annual event incurred when moving to its new base in Strathallan. But Audit Scotland has confirmed that it will nevertheless review the T funding.

According to The Scotsman, the auditing body told reporters: “Audit Scotland’s work helps ensure the public can have trust and confidence about how public money is used. Given the public interest and correspondence we’ve received on this matter, we’ve decided to review the funding provided to T In The Park as part of the 2015/16 audit of the Scottish Government’s consolidated accounts”.

It went on: “We will look at the relevant governance arrangements and how grant funding was applied in this case. The outcome of our audit work will determine when we report on our findings. If and when we identified any issues, we would bring these to the attention of correspondents, the public and the Scottish Government during the course of the audit”.