I- Gallery bid

Edinburgh has turned over its cards in the poker game for the right to house the pr0posed National Gallery of Scottish Art. exposing what the group backing the scheme believes to be a winning hand.

Edinburgh Partners. the consortium formed by the district and regional council to bid against Glasgow for the gallery. have offered the Dean Centre. opposite the Gallery of Modern Art, as the site for the new development. Their proposal involves linking the grounds of the two buildings to form a £21 million ‘Galleries in the Park‘ complex. The scheme drawn up by Edinburgh architects Reiach and Hall also involves dismantling the Trinity Apse. home of the Brass Rubbing Centre. and rebuilding it on the site.

Edinburgh‘s status as the national capital and the fact the city attracts over thirteen million visitors a year are

emphasised in the corrsonium‘s submission to the trustees of National Galleries of Scotland. who are expected to choose between the two cities next month.

‘The new national gallery will be a showcase of centuries of Scottish an and culture. a window into the soul of

the nation,’ Lord Provost Norman Irons said. ‘The decision should not be made on the grounds of money but on the grounds of what is the proper location for such an important asset to the nation.‘

No funding is in place for either scheme at this stage but Glasgow is

emphasising it could secure as much as £10 million in European Community grants which Edinburgh is not eligible for. Internationally renowned painter Peter Howson also lent his support to his native Glasgow's bid by offering to donate a painting if the trustees agree to locate the gallery there. (Eddie Gibb)

_ First degree

School-leavers whose exam grades fail to meet with expectations will this year be able to take advantage of the first national university and college hotline.

Exam Results Hotline will run for a week after the dreaded brown envelope drops through the door and

will offer advise on alternative courses and colleges. A database of higher education vacancies will be up- dated daily which will enable the hotline to operate a dating agency to match up candidates with colleges throughout Scotland.

‘A lot of people doing a subject they are good at at school don’t realise the number of courses on offer at higher education level,’ according to careers information officer Pat Holland who will be in charge of the hotline. ‘We will be trying to work out if people can

continue on the same path at a different institution or will have to change course altogether.’

However Holland warns school- leavers against jumping straight onto the first course that offers them a place because few students get a second chance if they drop out. It can be better to take a year out to improve grades or gain work experience. (EC) The Hotline number is: 0500 505050 and will be open throughout the day from 9-13 August.

Censor’s role questioned

Members of Glasgow City Council's Labour group have expressed concem about the licensing committee‘s power to ban films which have already been certificated by the British Board of Film Classification. Following the banning of Australian skinhead movie Romper .S'Iomper from the Glasgow Film Theatre in April. the group will meet next month to discuss the role of the council's licensing committee as film censor.

Films have been banned in Glasgow‘s cinemas twice before. after the religious content of Ken Russell‘s The Devils and Monty Python‘s Life Of Brian was thought to be inflammatory. With Romper Slomper, it was the violent nature of the subject matter which includes attacks on Vietnamese immigrants by neo’Nazis that was regarded as inappropriate at a time when Strathclyde Region was cracking down on violent crime. The Council‘s ban on Romper Stomper became i something of a farce. however, when the film went on to play at the UCI Clydebank. just outside the Council‘s jurisdiction.

Edinburgh District Council made no attempt to interfere with the film which attracted several groups of skinheads to the Filmhouse, ensuring sell-out

screenings for four days earlier this month. Although police had been put on stand-by. no incidents were reported within the cinema. Around 70 members of one audience. which included anti- racist groups and members of the British National Party. took part in a discussion on racism and film violence that followed one ofthe screenings.

‘The issues raised by the film were discussed for over an hour and a half.’ said Filmhouse director Jim Hamilton. ‘Had this film been banned in Edinburgh. this talk could not have taken place. If regional film theatres are not allowed to show films like this. where can we have informed cultural debate‘?‘ (Alan Morrison)

_ Crafty idea

The Scottish Arts Council has taken over the role of promoting crafts, which have been without Government backing since the Scottish Development Agency was scrapped, and is offering grants totalling £300,000 to set the ball rolling.

Money is available under four schemes which include start-up grants to help crafts people establish themselves in business, contributions to training costs and support to improve the standard of craft exhibitions. Grants will also be available for crafts people wanting to travel to carry out special research projects.

‘We are very anxious to distribute money as quickly as possible rather than having it sit in our bank account,’ an SAC spokesman said. ‘We are moving fairly quickly and then we will be producing a statement of policy for the longer term.’

The grant scheme is the first step of a plan to establish a crafts division within the SAC after it was given responsibility for the sector by the Scottish Office in February. The SAC recently advertised for a director of the division and has appointed former SDA head of crafts Dr Helen Bennett to advise on policy.

‘There has been no support for artistic endeavour and design development for over two years since the SCA closed,’ Bennett says.

Bennett believes some Scottish crafts people have been forced to move south in the last two years in search of funding for new projects from the Government-backed Crafts Council which only supports people working in England.

‘I feel there are good people coming out of colleges at the moment and it would be nice to stop the talent leaving Scotland,’ she says. (EC)

Further details on the scheme are available from the Crafts Department, SAC, 12 Manor Place, Edinburgh EH3 700.

4 The List 30 July—J2 August 1993