Mission and Aims

Our Purpose

The purpose of the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS) as set out in the governing legislation (the National Heritage (Scotland) Act 1985) is to:

  • care for, preserve and add to the objects in our collections;
  • ensure that the objects are exhibited to the public;
  • ensure that the objects are available to persons seeking to inspect them in connection with study or research; and generally to promote the public’s enjoyment and understanding of the Fine Arts;
  • and for those purposes to provide education, instruction and advice and to carry out research.

The National Galleries of Scotland look after one of the world’s finest collections of Western art ranging from the Middle Ages to the present day. These holdings include the national collection of Scottish art which we are proud to display in an international context.

Our Mission

The National Galleries of Scotland cares for, develops, researches and displays the national collection of Scottish and international art and, with a lively and innovative programme of activities, exhibitions, education and publications, aims to engage, inform and inspire the broadest possible public.

Our Values

Excellence: we are committed to the highest quality in all our collections, activities and services.

Pride in our Scottish Heritage: we are a leading Scottish cultural institution with an international vision and outlook.

Inspiration: a commitment to learning and education is central to NGS.

Accessibility: NGS is welcoming and open to all, on-site and online.

Creativity: we nurture talent and invest in people.

Integrity: we are open, transparent and dedicated to public service.

These values define the way we work. NGS is committed to the pursuit of excellence in all its activities and services and is equally dedicated to ensuring that our collections and knowledge are accessible to as wide a public as possible. We respect tradition and are proud of our history, but value creativity and innovation in our efforts to improve our service to the public.

National Performance Framework

The Scottish Government’s Purpose:

To focus government and public services on creating a more successful country, with opportunities for all of Scotland to flourish, through increasing sustainable economic growth.

The creation of a successful economy has been established as the key priority for Scottish Government.  The NGS is a flagship for art and culture in Scotland.  The breadth and quality of the collection is exceptional, acting as a driver to encourage tourism and additional spend.  This in turn enables NGS to attract major exhibitions and loans, contributing to Scotland’s international reputation and profile.

NGS supports the realisation of the Government’s objectives through its contribution to education; by developing innovation and creativity in Scotland; through strengthening the cultural profile and national identity.

Our Vision and Key Aims

Our overall vision is to continue to develop the NGS as an ambitious international institution that sits at the heart of cultural life in Scotland and makes a significant contribution to the education, well-being, inspiration and enjoyment of the public.

To achieve our vision we have three over-arching, long-term aims: 

  1. To deliver world-class programmes, services and activities based around an outstanding permanent fine art collection and temporary exhibitions programme.
  2. To engage with wider and more diverse audiences by encouraging participation and providing and promoting opportunities for learning.
  3. To be a sustainable and efficient organisation.

  In summary, our aims are Quality, Engagement and Sustainability.

Our Priorities for 2016-20

Our priorities are aligned with the wider policies and strategies established by Scottish Government.

Over the period 2016-20 NGS will:

  1. Improve the Quality of our Offer
  2. Develop our Audiences
  3. Develop a Sustainable and Efficient Business Model

A summary of our Corporate Plan for 2016-20 can be viewed here.