Media Release: A three-year celebration of creativity; opportunities for Scotland to shine from 2012 to 2014

AMBITIOUS plans for a three-year world-class celebration of Scottish culture and creativity have today been announced by the Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs.

Fiona Hyslop sets out how Scotland will take advantage of the unprecedented opportunities offered by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Scotland’s Cultural Plan for London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 aims to promote Scottish culture and creativity on the world stage, increase international and domestic tourism and develop Scotland’s creative sector.

Beginning in 2012, the Year of Creative Scotland, and continuing into 2014, the cultural showcase will provide opportunities for the whole nation to take part in the celebrations.

Creative Scotland, the development agency for the arts, screen and creative industries, will invest £6.5 million National Lottery funds into a programme to support the Year of Creative Scotland.

The programme will include a series of ‘Creative Places Awards’ which will celebrate communities with a strong track record of creativity and cultural tourism.

The Culture Secretary will launch the three year programme supported by Creative Scotland investment for the Year of Creative Scotland on a visit to Ballet West in Taynuilt on 27 July 2011.

Ms Hyslop said: “Scotland is known across the globe for its rich culture and heritage and is increasingly recognised for its contemporary and creative cutting edge.

“In 2012 and 2014, the eyes of the world will be on the UK.

“These present wonderful opportunities, both large and small, to highlight Scotland’s cultural and creative strengths on the international stage and across our communities.

“Through Creative Scotland’s £6.5 million investment and the rich creative activity across our vibrant cultural sector, 2012 will act as a nationwide showcase for our cultural assets and outstanding new work.

“The Year of Creative Scotland will offer new opportunities to be creative and experience and participate in our world-class culture, with activity taking place in communities the length and breadth of Scotland.

“It is the start of an exciting three-year cultural programme that will embrace London 2012 and celebrate Glasgow 2014.

“Scotland’s arts and culture are already a major draw for visitors. More than a million people attended Edinburgh’s Festivals alone in 2010, generating more than £261 million of additional revenue for our economy.

“Our culture is one of our greatest assets and we want to see our communities across the length and breadth of Scotland benefit from everything that the next three years has to offer.

“We will use this opportunity to promote Scotland to millions more people across the globe and introduce Scotland to new audiences at home and abroad as one of the world’s most creative nations.”

Andrew Dixon, chief executive of Creative Scotland, said: “2012 presents us with a unique and unprecedented opportunity to showcase the wealth of talent within Scotland to a national and international audience.

“The energy created by this three-year programme will create a long lasting legacy for Scotland.

“It is an opportunity to celebrate our creative places and showcase Scotland’s existing year-round programme of cultural events, festivals and projects.

“The £6.5m programme will present opportunities for the whole nation to get involved and it will also develop new partnerships between the cultural sector and the tourism and heritage sectors.

“Creative Scotland aims to reach every community across Scotland through the three year programme.”

Year of Creative Scotland 2012 sets out to encourage collaborative working between the creative and tourism sectors and expand the strategic collaboration between national agencies working in the arts, events and tourism.

A steering group, chaired by EventScotland, oversees the Year of Creative Scotland comprising representatives from Creative Scotland, the Scottish Government, VisitScotland and VOCAL.

Paul Bush, chief operating Officer at EventScotland, said: “2012 provides an exciting opportunity for Scotland to showcase its World Class cultural assets, unique events and festivals and its year long cultural offering.

“Today’s announcement provides a rallying call for organisations across the country to get involved, work in partnership and take advantage of this unique opportunity.”

Acting chief executive of Glasgow 2014, David Grevemberg, said: “Glasgow 2014 offers a fantastic opportunity for people across the world to see Scotland’s complex and fascinating blend of the traditional and the modern across the cultural spectrum.

“Innovative and international cultural programmes are an essential part of any Commonwealth Games, defining the Host City and country to the many millions of visitors, athletes and TV spectators.

“Glasgow 2014 is delighted by today’s announcement, helping ensure that the city and country will be alive with extraordinary cultural activities the length and breadth of Scotland in the run up to and during the Games in 2014.”

Ruth McKenzie, director, Cultural Olympiad, said: “Scotland’s programme for the creative celebrations throughout 2012 will ensure that every part of the UK enjoys the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival – and there are more announcements still to come!

“The best of Scotland’s creative community will be playing a leading role in joining with the rest of the nation to welcome the London 2012 and Paralympic Games as a unique opportunity to showcase the UK’s creative talent.”

Notes to Editors:

Scotland’s Cultural Plan for London 2012 and Glasgow 2014 can be accessed via:

Creative Scotland’s National Lottery funded investment strands for the Year of Creative Scotland programme include:

Creative Places Awards – a £1 million open investment strand for communities in Scotland towns and villages to gain recognition for their creative and cultural tourism track record and build on their achievements. The scheme will start in 2012, the Year of Creative Scotland, and run until 2014 with a series of awards being made.

First in a Lifetime – a £2.5 million open fund to enable mass participation in high quality ambitious artistic experiences, reaching people who have had few opportunities to participate in the arts and culture.

Culture and Tourism Initiatives – £1 million to support new cultural tourism activity and build collaboration between the culture, tourism and heritage sectors. This purpose of this initiative is to increase audiences and attendance at cultural events by domestic and international visitors and improve the trading position of our cultural businesses.

One Step Further (Festivals & Events Growth Scheme) – £450,000 will be allocated to enhance the offering of existing cultural festivals and events during the Year of Creative Scotland 2012, aiming to attract more visitors.

For further information please visit:

Further opportunities will be announced later in the year including:

Get Scotland Dancing: The Scottish Government has recognised the potential for dance in this context and in their Games Legacy Plan, there is a commitment to Get Scotland Dancing, and Creative Scotland will work with the dance sector to create an inclusive celebration of dance across Scotland.

To support the initiative £1.5 million National Lottery funds will be invested over the three years through the Year of Creative Scotland programme in projects that encourage more people to get active and participate in dance. Get Scotland Dancing will create an inclusive celebration of dance across Scotland, linking into the wider UK and marking Scotland’s place in the world.

The Year of Creative Scotland begins on 01 January 2012 and is the latest Focus Year on the journey to a second year of Homecoming in 2014.

Since Scotland’s first year of Homecoming in 2009 a series of Focus Years have co-ordinated national activity to spotlight some of Scotland’s great assets. The four Focus Years are centred on domestic and international tourism and the development of the events industry in Scotland. In 2010 there was a celebration of our reputation as a land food and drink and this year Scotland’s attributes as an active nation are being marked.

In 2012, the focus is on Scotland as a place of culture and creativity, providing a chance to shine a spotlight on our creative assets and provide a test-bed for new initiatives and in 2013 the focus will be on Scotland as a place of natural beauty.

Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012 and Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014

Scotland will join the celebrations for the London 2012 Festival, the finale of the Cultural Olympiad, through a series of high-profile events. The aim is to bring communities together from all over Scotland to celebrate sport and culture, connecting them directly to the aspirations of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London in 2012 and the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014.

A series of events took place across the country as part of London 2012 Open Weekend. For further information please visit:

A further announcement will follow in the autumn that will outline Scotland’s cultural programme for London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games.


Sophie Bambrough: 0131 240 0015 / 07747606146

Creative Scotland:

Catherine Brown: 0131 244 2547 / 07825 106156

Scottish Government:

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