Media Release: £2million boost to cultural activity across Scotland


£2million boost
to cultural activity across Scotland

Open Project Funding sees 88 awards of between £1,500 and £100,000 made to individual artists and organisations from Apr – May, 2015.

CREATIVE Scotland has awarded nearly £2million of Open Project Funding to 88 individual artists and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries. The awards have been made during the period April to May 2015, of between £1,500 and £100,000.

Significant awards have been made to ensure that the arts can play a vital role towards improving the quality of people’s lives, and creating a sense of well-being across the communities of Scotland.

Artlink Edinburgh & the Lothians will deliver a year-long programme of collaborative interventions, exchanges and learning which will be led and informed by individuals with enduring mental health problems and individuals with learning disabilities (£130,000); Starcatchers Productions will deliver a programme of artist-led creative engagement initiatives for young parents aged under 25yrs and their babies and toddlers in Wester Hailes, Edinburgh and Lochgelly, Fife (£80,000); and Art in Hospital will deliver a contemporary visual art programme that aims to improve patients’ quality of life and transform hospitals and care homes through the potential of creativity (£50,000).

Funding has been awarded to a number of organisations to enable them to deliver artistic programmes across Scotland including Live Music Now, Magnetic North Theatre Productions and Jazz Scotland in Edinburgh; Freight Books in Glasgow; Birnam Arts in Perthshire and Lyth Arts Centre in Wick.

A range of festivals have received support including Borders Book Festival, Stanza – Scotland’s Poetry Festival, Doune the Rabbit Hole, Take One Action Film Festival and the Scottish Queer International Film Festival.

Internationally, Scotland’s literature and culture will be the centre of attention at the Pisa Book Festival with events dedicated to Scotland’s literary offering; CURRENT will showcase contemporary art made in Scotland at Himalayas Art Museum in Shanghai, led by Cooper Gallery in Dundee; Scottish poets will showcase work and present workshops at two of Australia’s premier literary festivals – Melbourne Writers and Queensland Poetry Festival.

Professional development has been awarded to a number of artists to help them develop their creative practice by undertaking residencies in Canada, Mexico, Berlin, Portugal and New York.

Funding has also been awarded to a number of artists and collectives to enable them to research, develop and create work: Corin Sworn and Tony Romano received funding towards the creation of a long length artist film following the intertwining stories of five travellers in the Italian South; Tony Cownie and Liz Lochhead received funding towards ‘What Goes Around Comes Around’ an adaptation of Arthur Schnitzler’s La Ronde; and bands Dallahan, Book Group, Tuff Love and Gavin Prentice received support towards recording, production and promotion costs, amongst others.

Janet Archer, chief executive of Creative Scotland, said:

“These awards will enable nearly 100 artists, creative companies and community groups to reach into theatres, galleries, arts centres, care homes, hospitals and schools.

“Collectively, these projects will have a major impact on the quality of people’s lives across Scotland in many different ways, stimulating people’s imagination and confidence through coming together to enjoy artistic and creative experiences.

“Open Project Funding supports organisations and individuals to explore, realise and develop their creative potential, widen access to their work, and enrich Scotland’s reputation as a distinctive creative nation.

“I am delighted that nearly half of the awards made in April and May were awarded to individual artists and artists collectives, a real testimony to the wide range of talented people that live and work here.”

On receiving £130,000 Open Project Funding Jan-Bert van den Berg, director, Artlink Edinburgh & Lothians, said:

“Artlink is committed to exploring arts practice within health and social care. Through involvement in art we make connections between people, their experiences and our community – we value people for who they are and celebrate diversity.

“We collaborate with some of the most marginalised people in our society and create learning environments where knowledge and experience from many different perspectives inform the making of high quality artworks.

“This award from Creative Scotland will allow us to continue to pursue this work and invite careful thinking about our relationship to the world and those around us.”

Receiving £80,000, Eleanor Livingstone, director of Stanza Scotland’s Poetry Festival, said:

“StAnza is very grateful to Creative Scotland for their continuing suport which is so vital to our success. We are particularly excited at  this chance to expand our already acclaimed  digital activities.”

A full list of awards is available here.

Details of the Open Project Fund and all other Creative Scotland funding can be found on our website at

Open Project Funding commenced on 1 October, 2014 and sits alongside Regular and Targeted Funding as one of Creative Scotland’s three funding routes.

There are no deadlines attached to Open Project Funding. Applications are reviewed on a weekly basis and decisions provided within eight weeks for applications less than £15,000 and 12 weeks for applications more than £15,000.

This means that individuals and organisations can apply at a time that suits their needs and their practice.

Over £1.8m of these awards have been allocated from National Lottery funds.

Alongside funding from the Scottish Government, The National Lottery forms a vital part of funding support for the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland and it is important to recognise this.

Notes to Editors:

Open Project Funding is available to a wide range of organisations and individuals working across Scotland in the arts, screen and creative industries. Open Project Funding replaces most of the project based funding programmes previously operated by Creative Scotland. Open Project Funding supports a broad spectrum of activity including: creative and professional development; research and development, production; small capital requirements, touring and collaborations, festivals, arts programming, audience development, etc.

A full list of activities supported through this route is set out in the Open Project Funding application guidance. Support is available for projects of different scale and duration with the maximum period of award being set at two years.

Awards are made in the range £1,000 to £100,000 (or up to £150,000 by exception).

Open Project Funding is one strand of Creative Scotland’s funding model which was announced on 9 April 2014: ( and reflects Creative Scotland’s commitment to introduce a clear and simple funding approach that provides access to both long-term and project funding for individuals and organisations, as set out in our Action Plan for Change, published in March 2013 (

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit Follow us @creativescots and

Media Contact
Sophie Bambrough
Media Relations & PR Officer
Creative Scotland
T: +44 (0) 131 523 0015
M: +44 (0) 774 760 6146
Switch Board: +44 (0) 330 333 2000

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