Media release: Scotland strengthens European partnerships with Creative Europe funding success

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SEVEN awards, totalling €1.4 million, have been announced by Creative Europe towards collaborative European projects involving creative and cultural organisations in Scotland.

Creative Carbon Scotland, Fablevision, Imaginate, Leith Theatre Trust, National Youth Orchestra of Scotland, North Lands Creative Glass and Scottish Ensemble in Scotland are amongst the 40 awards to UK organisations in projects that are receiving a total €2.1 million.

Scotland-based organisations have seen a notable surge in successful applications, and four – Creative Carbon Scotland, Imaginate, North Lands Creative Glass and Scottish Ensemble – are leading projects out of a total of 11 UK lead partners.

The results show a 50 per cent increase in the total of projects supported by the Creative Europe Culture sub-programme since 2014 involving Scottish organisations and a 14 per cent rise in UK involvement compared to 2017, marking another year-on-year increase.

Overall, 37 of the 101 selected projects involve the UK, which means that the UK continues to be one of the most partnered countries in what is the principal funding opportunity in Creative Europe’s Culture sub-programme.

Creative Scotland is a partner of Creative Europe Desk UK, the UK’s contact point for information, advice and support for applying to the EU’s Creative Europe programme.

Iain Munro, acting CEO, Creative Scotland, commented: “Working internationally is key to ensuring that Scotland remains a successful and distinctive creative nation connected to the world. We are delighted to see such a notable increase in Creative Europe success for projects and partnerships involving Scottish organisations, ranging across artforms and across Europe, and to see an increase in confidence of Scottish organisations taking the lead on Cooperation Projects.

“This sends a clear message that Scotland’s creative and cultural sector is determined to strengthen and increase connections with our European partners, and that organisations in other European countries value the quality and excellence of Scottish organisations and their work.”

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, said: “These awards reflect the strength, innovation and talent of Scotland’s culture sector. The international partnerships which form the basis of these projects remind us of the sector’s international outlook and the strength and importance of the cross-border links that they hold.

“From projects which highlight the impact of climate change, to productions which will reach out to young people, these awards show the value of Creative Europe funding and how essential continued EU membership is to Scotland’s culture sector.

“The international networks, partnerships, learning and cultural exchange that Creative Europe enables will help these organisations to continue to develop and innovate way beyond the duration of these particular projects.”

Lead Projects in Scotland

Creative Carbon Scotland

Creative Carbon Scotland leads on Cultural Adaptations. The Cultural Adaptations (EUCAN) project, running for 30 months from October 2018, aims to develop new skills and knowledge in the cultural sector on climate change adaptation, and a new market for cultural practitioners in non-cultural settings, and through an action research approach, to gather the learning into an accessible new business model replicable across the EU.

Creative Carbon Scotland director, Ben Twist, said: “Creative Europe’s support for ‘Cultural Adaptations’ will allow Creative Carbon Scotland to partner with some of the most forward-thinking cultural organisations in Europe on an innovative response to the task of adapting to the impacts of climate change, one of the greatest challenges and opportunities of our day.”

Partners: Belgium, Ireland, Sweden and UK


Imaginate leads on PUSH+, with the addition of a new associated partner: Bangkok International Children’s Theatre Festival (Thailand).  PUSH+ is a three-year co-operation project investigating three important topics – Home, Failure and Different Bodies – to initiate new artistic ideas in theatre and dance for young audiences.

Imaginate’s Fiona Ferguson said: “We are absolutely delighted to have been awarded Creative Europe funding for the second time allowing us to continue the work we have been doing around important topics in theatre and dance for young audiences. We can now build on the learning from PUSH which will see a stronger connection between the research and development of new performance ideas alongside children and festival audiences. It has been such a privilege working together with artists and project partners from across Europe, we look forward to growing this community to include artists in Thailand.”

Partners: Belgium, Ireland, Denmark, Norway

North Lands Creative Glass

North Lands Creative Glass leads on Imagining Sustainable Glass Network Europe (ISGNE) which includes four partners in UK, Germany, Latvia and Ireland and involves 33 associated organisations and EU GADM GCW in 19 European countries. ISGNE will focus on audience development and transnational mobility relative to contemporary glass practices.

Karen Phillips, director, North Lands Creative, said: “North Lands Creative are extremely excited about the myriad of opportunities this funding will provide in the UK and further afield. ISGNE will have huge benefits for European Glass Artists and practitioners and will also have excellent benefits for our local audiences within Caithness who will benefit from the resulting programme of exhibitions and activities. We look forward to growing our European networks and supporting the work of Glass Artists and are extremely grateful to Creative Europe for their support of this project.”

Partners: Berlin Glas (Germany), Stikla maja (Latvia) and National College of Art and Design (Ireland)

Scottish Ensemble

Scottish Ensemble lead on THE BRIDGE. The project aims to address long-standing issues faced by European classical music culture.  Scottish Ensemble (UK), Ensemble Resonanz (Germany), Trondheim Soloists (Norway) and the PLMF Music Trust (Estonia) will collaborate to develop THE BRIDGE Network and Festival, using string orchestras and repertoire to develop and promote innovative practice in classical music presentation and audience development initiatives.

Scottish Ensemble chief executive, Fraser Anderson, said: “Scottish Ensemble is thrilled to have been successful in our first Creative Europe application. Alongside our partners – Ensemble Resonanz (Germany), Trondheim Soloists (Norway) and the PLMF Music Trust (Estonia) – we aim to connect and celebrate innovative string ensembles and string music from across Europe, and to discover together new and accessible ways for diverse audiences to experience the power of our music-making.”

Partners: Ensemble Resonanz (Germany), Trondheim Soloists (Norway), PLMF Music Trust (Estonia)

Partner Projects in Scotland


Fablevision partners on Memory of Water. Memory of Water explores what makes the difference when collaborative, artist and citizen-led visions are incorporated into planning. In 21st century, post-industrial Europe, shipbuilding, textile and other industries have relocated. Abandoned industrial spaces and folk memories are contemporary tangible and intangible heritage. Six European Cities (Govan, Gdansk, Gothenburg, Limerick, Ostend and Levadia) will explore ‘what’s next for post-industrial waterfront heritage zones?’

Louisa Taylor, Fablevision creative manager, said: “Fablevision is delighted to be a key partner in the successful Memory of Water collaboration with Poland, Sweden, Ireland, Greece and Belgium. There will be two artists’ residences in Govan with visits to the other cities involved to learn and be inspired by their example. The artists will work with local communities as well as politicians, planners and stakeholders. The premise is that just as we as individuals carry the markers of our origins and place in tooth, bone and memory, so these places carry similar markers in the water, buildings and landscape. By understanding these links, we can use the past as a instrument for constructing a new vision which can galvanise these community into creating a better future.”

Partners: Poland, Sweden, Ireland, Greece and Belgium

Leith Theatre Trust

Leith Theatre Trust partner on Café Europa/ Project 1568, an international cultural collaboration taking place this November.  Artists from Scotland, Germany, Poland, Serbia and Ireland are working towards an exciting full-scale premiere of ‘The Last Days of Mankind’ by the Viennese writer, Karl Kraus, adapted from a new translation by Patrick Healy, published by November Editions in 2016. The project is the culmination of a three-year creative partnership between Leith Theatre, Edinburgh and theatre companies Theaterlabor Bielefeld, Germany, Teatr Apart, Poland, Plavo Povoriste, Serbia and Smashing Times, Dublin.

The project will be premiered in Leith Theatre as the first theatre project developed Scottish director, John Paul McGroarty, who will co-direct the production, says: “The funding support gives us an unrivalled opportunity to bring international creative partners together with local actors to develop new relationships and talent in a production that demonstrates Leith Theatre as a wonderful cultural resource for local and international artists.

“It is doubly important that we are able to work together with our transnational partners to recognise the 100-year centenary of the conflict that claimed so many lives and left Europe and its people devastated, telling the story in a new way and in this special venue.”

Partners: Theaterlabor Bielefeld (Germany) and Teatr Apart (Poland)


NYOS partners on MusXchange 2018-20, a project coordinated by the European Federation of National Youth Orchestras (EFNYO). The programme offers a platform for high-level ensemble training, skilling new generations of musicians, engaging with audiences, and setting up transnational mobility projects.

Nicolas Zekulin, National Youth Orchestras of Scotland, said: “NYOS is delighted to continue its participation in the European Federation of National Youth Orchestras and to receive funding to further our growing partnership with NJO (the National Youth Orchestra of the Netherlands). Past exchange projects have provided wonderful and rare opportunities for our players, and we continue to see great value in this work.”

Partners: Austria, France, Moldova, Romania, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, Cyprus, Spain, France, and the Netherlands


Creative Europe Desk UK & Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is a partner of Creative Europe Desk UK, the UK’s contact point for information, advice and support for applying to the EU’s Creative Europe programme. Creative Europe Desk UK is the contact point for information, advice and support for both the Culture and MEDIA sub-programmes. Creative Scotland have two members of staff based in our Glasgow and Edinburgh offices who are dedicated to assisting Scottish organisations and companies in developing projects, establishing partnerships and making applications for these funding opportunities

Creative Europe Desk UK is led by British Council and BFI Film in partnership with Arts Council England, Creative Scotland, Welsh Government and British Council Northern Ireland with support from the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport and the European Commission.

Advice for applicants

The next call for Cooperation Projects is expected in late autumn 2018. Kate Deans is Culture sub-programme contact point in Scotland, and is  available to discuss project ideas, European partnerships and the Cooperation Project application process, so get in touch, sign up to Creative Europe Dest UK’s newsletter, come to one of  our our events and read about projects that have been previously funded. Contact:

Brexit advice

Creative Europe Desk UK’s advice for UK lead and partner organisations and other European partners is to continue applications as normal for forthcoming Creative Europe calls. For the most up-to-date information on Brexit and Creative Europe, please read out statement.

The Impact of Creative Europe

Creative Europe Desk UK recently published an in-depth evaluation report, The Impact of Creative Europe in the UK, which highlights that Creative Europe’s benefits far exceed the monetary grant funding, and reveals new details about the programme’s powerful effect on building international networks, growing audiences, generating jobs and skills, and much more.

Image credit: National Jazz Orchestra Netherlands Group

Media Contact:  Sophie Bambrough, media relations officer at Creative Scotland.
E: / T: 0131 523 0015 / M: 07747 606 146

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Contact: Sophie Bambrough
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