Media Release: Cashback for Creativity – cash from criminals inspires young people’s creativity


TODAY, Wednesday 23 March 2016, Creative Scotland announced that over £900,000 will enable hundreds of young people across Scotland to access a range of high-quality arts and creative activities.

Over 45 projects and organisations have been supported through the CashBack for Creativity programme to create opportunities for children and young people to take part in high quality dance, literature, music, theatre, visual arts, film and digital media activities.

The funding has been awarded through the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme, which redistributes the proceeds of crime to benefit young people.

CashBack for Creativity has three routes to funding – the Youth Arts Fund, the Strategic Fund and the Training and Employability Scheme.

Over £223,900 has been awarded to 30 projects through the Youth Arts Fund administered by Youth Link Scotland.

Supported projects include Media Educations Creating Waves offering free audio recording courses for young people to create podcasts and radio broadcasts in Edinburgh; recording sessions for young bands in Glasgow offered by Beatroute Art; the creation of a an Argyll-wide youth performance company for 14 – 18 year-olds delivered by COMAR; a programme of aerial dance specifically tailored for disabled or autistic young people offered by the Beacon Arts Centre in Greenock and an inspiring visual art lab for young people aged 12 – 18 offered by An Lanntair in the Western Isles.

Over £529,000 has been awarded to 12 projects through the Strategic Fund.

Supported projects include dance activities offered by Dance Base in Edinburgh – Great Feats; a programme of film activities in Glasgow delivered by GMAC Film in Glasgow – Mad About Movies; a young writers programme delivered by Moniack Mhor in the highlands – House of Stories; a development and support network for youth dance groups across Scotland – YDance Routes.

The Training and Employability Scheme has supported tailored Creative Industries training programmes across three educational institutions – Dundee & Angus College; Glasgow Clyde College and The Prince’s Trust. Supported programmes include Cashback Academy Digital Summer School offered to young people in Dundee and Angus and a textiles course offered to young people in Ayrshire, Glasgow and South.

Leonie Bell, director of Arts and Engagement at Creative Scotland, said: “We are delighted to announce the award recipients of the latest round of CashBack for Creativity programme. CashBack for Creativity continues to deliver a range of high-quality arts and creative activities to young people across Scotland.

“The lives of young people in Scotland can be changed through the positive impact of participation in arts and creative activities. These experiences can build essential skills including increased self-esteem and confidence, and they have the potential to open up opportunities in terms of training and employment in the arts and creative industries.”

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said: “No young person’s background should be a barrier to taking part in cultural life or realising the immeasurable benefits that the arts can bring.

“I want every child and young person in Scotland to have access to life-changing opportunities to boost their skills, improve their employability and reach their full potential through engagement with creativity and the arts.

“By seizing this money from criminals and reinvesting it back into our communities we are not only punishing those who seek to peddle misery but providing activities and opportunities for our young people to stop them from becoming involved in crime and anti-social behaviour.”

Commenting on the Youth Arts Fund delivered by YouthLink Scotland, chief executive, Jim Sweeney said: “This fund has been life-changing for so many young people, not only does this cash help nurture our future musicians, artists, film stars and producers, more importantly, youth work and the arts develops life skills, raises confidence and aspirations, as well as empowering youngsters to take charge of their own destiny.”

Kate Deacon, project development, Media Education, who received support for Creating Waves – offering free audio recording courses for young people in Edinburgh – commented: “Media Education were delighted to receive funding for Creating Waves from the Cashback for Creativity Programme.

“Whilst providing creative and technical skills to enable the creation of a wide range of podcasts, the young people’s work will also be broadcast on community radio.

“We’re looking forward to an exchange trip to SHMU in Aberdeen and visits to local stations.  We also have guest tutors attending the course including Scottish writer Susie Maguire and Glasgow-based audio artist, Mark Vernon.”

Moniack Mhor will be offering a fully accessible, progressive programme of creative writing activity for young people from all walks of life thanks to support through the Strategic Fund.

The programme includes a variety of opportunities to expand creative practice and skills alongside the creation of an anthology of young highland writing.

Speaking about the programme, Rachel Humphries, centre director, said: “We are thrilled that we are able to continue to offer high-quality writing activity for young people in the Highlands. Last year, we worked with many individuals who had never accessed the art form before and we are looking forward to continuing to nurture enthusiasm and confidence in those that we support.”

Supported through the Training and Employability Scheme, Dundee & Angus College are able to offer unemployed 18-25 year-olds access to a hands-on, bespoke learning opportunity, consisting of Creative Academy summer schools and digital media editing courses.

Commenting on the programme, Fiona Muhsin, from Dundee & Angus College, said: “The funding has enabled us develop an academy which we have branded as Cashback Academy.

“The Academy uses a project-based learning model and motivational programme to develop participants confidence and independence whilst encouraging collaborative learning by working together on real client-based projects.

“Due to the outstanding success we have had we are now looking to adapt our main stream curriculum to reflect the Cashback Academy learning model within the college.”

Twitter: @CB4Creativity #CashBack4Creativity


Notes to editors:

1. 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. The programme has been awarded a grant of £3million to deliver activity from 2014-2017. The CashBack for Creativity programme is also linked to the Youth Arts Development Hubs, the National Youth Arts Strategy – Time to Shine, the Youth Music Initiative and the Creative Learning Plan. For further information please visit:

2. CashBack for Creativity 2014-17 Fund strands

About The Youth Arts Fund

The Youth Arts Fund is delivered in partnership with YouthLink. Awards of up to £10,000 will enable organisations across the country to deliver a diverse range of high quality arts activities (dance, drama, film, literature, music, visual arts) increasing the level of provision and accessibility to high quality creative opportunities for young people.

About the Strategic Fund

The Strategic Fund will deliver a programme of learning and developmental activities to improve skills and confidence, whilst also raising aspirations and providing pathways for further learning, training, education and employment.

About the Training and Employability Scheme

The Training and Employability Scheme will develop specially tailored Creative Industries training programmes in partnership with Further Education and Higher Education institutions across the country. Specially-designed introductory courses and training specific to the Creative Industries as well as activities which will enhance participants’ employability and awareness of job opportunities available within the creative and cultural industries will be developed.

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

Media contact

Sophie Bambrough

Media relations and PR officer

Creative Scotland


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