MORE than one in four artists and art workers may leave Scotland because of Brexit, according to a new survey. This figure was almost twice as high amongst foreign Scotland-based artists from across all art forms.

The survey was conducted by umbrella organisations the Scottish Contemporary Arts Network (SCAN) and the Federation of Scottish Theatre (FST), with both organisations warning that the potential exodus could devastate Scotland’s diverse and international arts community.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon: here's how we can stay in the single market

Just over a fifth – 26% – of all respondents were considering or planning to leave Scotland and the UK after Brexit, The numbers rose to 40% of (other) EU nationals and 33% of nationals from outwith the EU. Only 5% have applied for UK citizenship, with a third considering applying.

Not only the arts will be affected, it is claimed. More than half of all those who replied to the survey also work in other jobs across the public, private and third sectors.

Seonaid Daly, director of SCAN, said: “This is the first hard evidence we’ve seen about the potential exodus of our international peers and colleagues who all help make Scotland’s visual art scene so vibrant and globally respected. This, as well as increasing pressure on budgets across the board, paints a very bleak picture for the future of Scottish visual arts.”

Jude Henderson, director of FST, added: “The research confirms what we hear every day from our members. Scotland’s performing arts practitioners and companies are connected and renowned worldwide, and have especially strong and productive links with our European partners.

“The potential loss of talent, networks and funding post-Brexit threatens access to arts and culture at home as well as making Scotland less visible around the world.”

The survey was carried out by Edinburgh-based independent consultancy Ruthless Research to feed into the Scottish Parliament’s Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee’s ongoing monitoring and scrutiny of the Article 50 withdrawal negotiations and their implications for Scotland.

The full research report, which sets out the views of around 350 respondents across a variety of artforms, was submitted to the committee on Friday.

Over half of all respondents regularly work outside of the UK, with nearly a third of total income coming from non-UK sources. More than half (57%) of all respondents say that Brexit has already had a negative impact on their work and business. Nine out of 10 expect that Brexit will have a negative impact on the arts sector in Scotland over the next few years.

Ben Macpherson, minister for Europe, migration and international development, said: “This survey highlights the real concerns and issues that people working in Scotland’s arts sector have with Brexit.

“We recognise that European cultural collaboration is central to Scotland’s open and international cultural outlook. EU membership supports this through freedom of movement, its funding programmes and initiatives.

“Scotland should not be forced out of the EU against our will. We did not vote for Brexit andmost of people in Scotland remain against it."

The National:

Peacock Visual Arts centre​ director, Nuno Sacramento​

Nuno Sacramento, director of the Peacock Visual Arts centre in Aberdeen said: “I arrived in Scotland in 1997 with a rucksack and five words of English, and became the director of an arts organisation. Scotland was such a welcoming, open and international place. Now I’m very concerned. The hostile environment is a terrible thing and it’s going to be applied to people from the EU next.

“On a personal level I am feeling quite insecure. I would rather not leave, but it has crossed my mind. I am prepared to if necessary. I don’t want to live in cultural isolation.”

Francis McKee, director of the CCA, which finally hopes to open this month, said there were concerns in the sector about the difficulty of travelling and working across Europe, and in particular the “appallingly racist” rejection of artist visas, particularly for artists of colour, by the UK Home Office.