Media Release: Cashback for Creativity report and call for further applications


CashBack for Creativity
£200,000 Open Arts Fund
Deadline: 23 October, 2015

Evaluation report reveals over 21,000 opportunities to
engage in youth arts were created from 2011-14

APPLICATIONS are now being accepted to the CashBack for Creativity: Open Arts Fund, delivered in partnership with YouthLink Scotland.

CashBack for Creativity is a part of the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme which reinvests the proceeds of crime back into communities to benefit Scotland’s young people.

A total of £200,000 is available to community based arts programmes to benefit young people across Scotland, with individual proposals being able to access awards of up to £10,000.

Applications are sought from projects that aim to increase the level of provision and accessibility to high quality creative opportunities for young people who wouldn’t normally have such an opportunity.

Further information and details of how to apply can be found here:

The call for applications coincides with the publication today, of an independent evaluation report on the programme. Covering the period from 2011–14 where Creative Scotland was awarded £2.25 million by the Scottish Government to deliver the CashBack for Creativity initiative, the report has been carried out by Arrivo Consulting Ltd.

Key findings from the evaluation highlight the positive impact that engagement with the arts can have on some of our most vulnerable and disadvantaged young people.

The report shows that over 21,000 opportunities for young people to engage in youth arts activities were created with projects taking place across all 32 Local Authorities from 2011-2014. To read the final report please visit:

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, said:

“Through the Cashback for Creativity programme, since 2011 the Scottish Government has supported thousands of young people to engage in a diverse range of creative activities, helping them to access life-changing opportunities to boost their skills, grow their confidence and reach their full potential.

“The Scottish Government underlined its commitment to supporting our young people to engage in creativity and the arts through the £3 million three-year Cashback for Creativity programme running over the three years to 2017. I am pleased that £200,000 of this will be invested in community based arts programmes through the Open Arts Fund, further widening access to creative opportunities for young people.”

Leonie Bell, director of Arts and Engagement at Creative Scotland, said:

“We are delighted to be partnering again with YouthLink Scotland on the CashBack for Creativity Open Arts Fund. This is an exciting step in the next phase of CashBack for Creativity – a programme that continues to deliver a range of high quality arts activities to young people across Scotland.

“Over 60 projects have so far been funded through the Open Arts Fund with more than 7,000 young people benefiting from engagement in a range of activities.

“We are also delighted to be publishing the evaluation of the first three years of the programme.

“The case studies contained within the evaluation illustrate how a young person’s life can be changed through the positive impacts of participation in new arts activities.

“For a young person these experiences build essential skills including self-esteem and confidence, and have the potential to raise the aspirations of young people to progress into training and employment in the creative industries.”

On delivering the Open Arts Fund, YouthLink Scotland, CEO, Jim Sweeney, said:

“Our young people are the future of this nation so it’s crucial they all have the opportunity to flourish.  Money from CashBack has offered so many youngsters the chance of a more positive path in life. Using arts combined with great youth work develops confidence, life skills and makes learning fun. I hope this latest round of funding will inspire more and more young people through participation in the arts. Investing in youth work really does changes young people’s lives.”

Reeltime Music is a community-based music project based in North Lanarkshire that ran the CashBack for Creativity funded project Young Sound which provided opportunities for young people to participate in informal music-making activities.

On taking part, 16 year-old Michelle Blair said: “Being at Reeltime has made a huge difference to my life. Since being involved in Young Sound I’ve learned three instruments, I’ve started my own band and I play in the community band. I’ve made lots of great friends. I’m never in these days.”

17 year-old Angela Watson explained the impact of being involved in the project on her life: “Being at Reeltime hasn’t just helped me get into college; it’s literally changed my life.

“I got a reference from Reeltime and I had videos and CDs that I could show at my interview. I’m also a lot more confident – not just in my music – now I’ve got confidence to speak to people and to perform.

“I’ve met people here that I can talk to about music and exchange ideas. Since I’ve been here I’ve learned so much new stuff, I’ve performed and I’ve got into college. It has literally changed my life.”


Notes to editors:

About CashBack for Creativity

CashBack for Creativity is part of the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme, which reinvests the proceeds of crime back into communities to benefit Scotland’s young people. In 2011, Creative Scotland was awarded £2.25 million from the CashBack programme to deliver a three-year programme of dance, film and music activities for young people in communities of need across Scotland. Due to the success of the programme during this period, the programme has been awarded a grant of £3million, allocated through the CashBack for Creativity programme over three years from 2014-2017.

The CashBack for Creativity programme will also be linked to the Youth Arts Development Hubs, the National Youth Arts Strategy – Time to Shine, the Youth Music Initiative and the Creative Learning Plan. Twitter: @CB4Creativity #CashBack4Creativity

About Creative Scotland
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

Arrivo Consulting Ltd was commissioned to carry out the programme level evaluation of the Cashback for Creativity Programme over the period January 2012 to December 2014

About YouthLink Scotland

  • YouthLink Scotland is the national agency for youth work. It is the voice of the youth work sector in Scotland.
  • It is a membership organisation and is in the unique position of representing the interests and aspirations of the whole of the sector both voluntary and statutory.
  • YouthLink Scotland champions the role and value of the youth work sector, challenging government at national and local levels to invest in the development of the sector.
  • YouthLink Scotland represents over 100 organisations, including the 32 Local Authority Youth Work Services and all major national voluntary youth work organisations, which support over 300,000 young people in achieving their potential.
  • YouthLink Scotland promotes a positive image of Scotland’s young people and seeks to promote their value to communities and society.

Visit the YouthLink Scotland website at for more information.

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