Media Release: Second cycle of funding awarded to Scotland’s arts, culture and heritage sectors to meet digital ambitions

Uist Wool Lochport flock

TODAY, February 1 2013, Scotland’s arts, culture and heritage organisations have received an £89,000 investment of National Lottery funds to capitalise on opportunities presented by digital technologies in a second cycle of funding.

Following the first cycle of funding of £85,000 in October 2012, this second award will help 14 organisations to digitally develop a constellation of opportunities including: ‘digital time travelling’ to 3D archaeological sites; global streaming of live piping events from the National Piping Centre; and supporting independent and community-managed museums in the Highlands to become more eco-friendly.

The investment has been made available through the AmbITion Scotland’s Make:IT:Happen fund, which is part of Creative Scotland’s national digital development programme. This is the second of five cycles of funding opportunities aimed at enabling Scotland’s creative community to increase business capability, capacity and creativity across four digital investment funds.

AmbITion Approach (up to £5,000) supports organisations during the early stages of their digital development by providing an external specialist to help them assess and develop a wide-reaching strategy for organisational change. Successful applicants are: Stirling’s macrobert, National Youth Orchestras of Scotland (NYOS), Scotland’s multi-generational theatre company, Wee Stories, and Street Level Photoworks.

Digital Content Development (£500-£10,000) gives organisations the opportunity to enhance their digital development activity through the creation, or better use of digital content. Successful applicants are: SCAPE Trust which conserves and promotes the archaeology of Scotland’s coast, Jupiter Artland and Catherine Wheels, a theatre company which produces theatre for children and young people.

Organisational Development (£500-£10,000) supports organisations to take advantage of digital technologies to grow their businesses, develop ideas and improve operational capacity. Successful applicants are: The National Piping Centre, National Theatre of Scotland, Arches, Scottish Youth Theatre and Uist Wool.

Sustainable AmbITion (£500 – £5,000) supports organisations to be carbon-aware and improve their environmental credentials through funding new digital technologies or approaches. Successful applicants are Hi Arts, and Doune the Rabbit Hole.

(Summaries of successful organisations’ proposals at end of this release.)

Hannah Rudman, lead consultant, AmbITion Scotland, said: “The great thing about AmbITion’s Make:IT:Happen fund is that it can provide such a wide range of support, so it’s relevant for arts, culture and heritage organisations and practices at every stage of their digital journey.

“The range of applications we received for the latest round of funding was impressive in both their breadth and quality, proving a real need and demand for this fund and AmbITion Scotland programme. It’s a privilege to be able to work with such a wide range of organisations on some really impactful and imaginative projects.”

Explained Dana Macphee, of Uist Wool, an organisation which received funding in the first phase, and now again in this second phase: “With the Make: IT: Happen fund, I felt the timing was excellent for Uist Wool to benefit from specialised advice through the AmbITion Approach fund.

“As we are in the start-up stage of the project it is important for us to carefully consider the type of digital infrastructure needed.

“In effect we started with a blank page but with solid support from our consultant Hannah Rudman we have created a digital development plan that will run in parallel with the establishment of Uist Wool as a small-scale artisan spinning mill and wool centre.

“The appeal of the Make:IT:Happen fund is that you can progress from one stage to another. We are delighted that our application to the Organisational Development phase of the programme has been successful as that allows us to put the plan we developed with Hannah, into action immediately.

“Beyond the bonus of getting funding and direct  advisory support from Make:IT:Happen, the Ambition Scotland programme  has a wealth of resources developed over the past few years that can  help cultural organisations with their digital and IT activities.

“Being based in the Outer Hebrides, Uist Wool will take full advantage of digital tools to connect with our customers and audience.

“We’re lucky to be based in an inspirational place and have a way of communicating and sharing our creative enthusiasm with others.  With this continuing support from the Make:IT:Happen fund, Uist Wool will be in a stronger position to grow our community of interest beyond our location.”

Julie Tait, director, Culture Sparks, said: “Digital development is at the heart of what we do at Culture Sparks, and the AmbITion Scotland programme is playing a really key role in helping organisations to make the most of digital technology to become more visible and accessible to the public in new ways.

“The Make:IT:Happen fund and wider AmbITion Scotland programme has a national reach, and one its great strengths is the way that it’s helping artists and arts organisations become inter-connected, forging new networks and partnerships across the entire country, from the Outer Hebrides to the borders.”

The decision making process for three funds – Organisational Development, Sustainable AmbITion and AmbITion Approach – is carried out by a panel with a wide range of expertise in digital developments in the arts, culture and heritage sector, drawing on the experience of individuals and advisors who have been instrumental to AmbITion Scotland’s work since 2009.

AmbITion Scotland used a participatory Peer Review method of decision-making for applications to the Digital Content Development funding strand.

Iain Munro, director of Creative Development at Creative Scotland, said: “It’s great to see Scotland’s digital sector being supported by such a fantastic fund. Make:IT:Happen ensures Scotland’s cultural sector has a sustainable digital infrastructure and is able to utilise the potential of new digital technologies.

“It’s part of the Digital Development initiative, developed in partnership with NESTA, AmbITion Scotland, Sync and Creative Scotland and funded through our Cultural Economy programme, and we hope that organisations across Scotland will make full use of what’s on offer through this innovative programme.”

A further three application periods for the Make:IT:Happen fund are planned between January and September 2013

  • January – March 2013 (decisions by 30 April 2013)
  • April – June 2013 (decisions by 31 July 2013)
  • July – September 2013 (decisions by 30 October 2013)

Full Make:IT:Happen information, funding guidelines and application forms at:

Funded by The National Lottery via Creative Scotland (as part of Creative Scotland’s Cultural Economy programme), the AmbITion Scotland programme and the Make:IT:Happen initiative are designed and delivered by Culture Sparks and Rudman Consulting.


FOR FURTHER INFORMATION/IMAGES/INTERVIEWS: Heather MacLeod T: +44 (0) 07841144157  E:


About AmbITion Scotland

AmbITionScotland is a digital development programme specifically designed to support individuals and organisations working in the arts, culture and heritage sectors inScotland. It helps organisations and individuals grow in their capability, capacity, creativity and confidence to make the most of the opportunities of digital technologies.

AmbITion helps organisations become digitally fitter so they can adapt to the social, cultural, and economic changes of the digital technology revolution.

AmbITion Scotland is supported by The National Lottery through Creative Scotland, and is a core piece of Creative Scotland’s Cultural Economy Programme. AmbITion Scotland works strategically with digital development programme partners to offer a range of opportunities for digital learning and development, experimentation, and innovation to the Scottish cultural sector

About Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the national lead and development agency for the arts, screen and creative industries.

About Culture Sparks

Culture Sparks is the intelligence and innovation partnership for the cultural sector.

Creative organisations across Scotland work with us because we unlock innovation, encourage experimentation, promote collaboration and make knowledge about people as audiences, visitors, producers, participants and creators real.

About Rudman Consulting

Rudman Consulting helps organisations and individuals maximise the opportunities, minimise the risks, and manage the impacts of getting digital.

We work to envision and build business models or rejuvenate and adapt existing ones, according to the opportunities of digital technologies.

Organisations receiving awards in the second cycle of Make:IT:Happen funding

AmbITion Approach: total £18,000


As Stirling’s leading arts venue, macrobert wants to work with a specialist to review digital infrastructure and develop strategic plans to improve programming, balancing artistic and commercial objectives; deliver operational efficiencies through improved internal management systems and widen and strengthen stakeholder (including audience) engagement.


National Youth Orchestras of Scotland provides orchestral experiences in classical and jazz music for its students through eight ensembles, ranging in age, group/ensemble size and musical style. It proposes to research the plausibility and cost of developing the business digitally. The key service users are between 8-25, with high on-line activity, and this is the ideal platform and opportunity to develop and add value to the organisation with more online functionality while reducing admin costs significantly.

Wee Stories

Wee Stories is an award-winning theatre company, creating a unique brand of story-telling theatre for all generations, and is currently undertaking an organisational development process. As part of this process, the AmbITion approach aims to increase the organisation’s confidence and capacity in digital technologies.

Street Level

Street Level Photoworks was founded in 1989 to provide artists and the public with the opportunity to produce and participate in photography and lens-based media. Their proposal is to construct an online portal to provide audiences with the opportunity to see, discuss, produce and buy photography, by incorporating new tools such as an online shop, booking system, database, forum, and automatic social media updates.

Digital Concent Development: total £28,000


As a charity that seeks to research, conserve and protect the archaeology of Scotland’s coast, SCAPE wants to bring the results of community archaeological excavations to life by developing museum and internet virtual resources. ‘Digital time travellers’ will control avatars to explore 3D reconstructions of historical and archaeological sites as they were in the past. A wealth of multi-media content will enhance their experience.

Jupiter Artland

Located in the 80-acre grounds just outside Edinburgh, Jupiter Artland is an outdoor sculpture park featuring major works specially commissioned from leading sculptors and land artists who have worked on-site to create a strong relationship with their surrounding environment. Jupiter Artland Foundation wants to further develop digital content and its free delivery to visitors on site and remotely.

Catherine Wheels

The Scottish children’s theatre company wants to develop a concept for an app targeted at children aged one-four which reflects the creativity and sensitivity of the theatre production ‘White’, to create an interactive environment to engage the very young.

Organisational Development: total £33,799

Piping Centre

The National Piping Centre (NPC) promotes the study of the music and history of the Highland Bagpipe. It proposes to develop an in-house live streaming capability, to provide a new income stream by allowing piping events to be streamed across the world to thousands of pipers and piping enthusiasts. The project will increase audiences and have an impact on Scottish music worldwide.


The National Theatre of Scotland (NTS) wishes to purchase Artifax Event Management software in order to transform its organisational effectiveness. The software would enable NTS to schedule tours more efficiently and with greater accuracy, maximising internal and external touring resources, and improving organisational capacity.


A not-for-profit organisation, the Arches is a bar, arts venue, theatre, live music venue and night club in Glasgow. They propose to provide wireless connectivity to the internet in all the rehearsal and performance locations the Arches. The technology will be based on standard Wireless Access Points (WAPs) strategically located throughout all performance/exhibition spaces on the ground floor and all rehearsal/production spaces in the basement.


A lot of has changed since Scottish Youth Theatre was founded in 1976, but it has always stuck to the motto of being ‘for and by’ young people. The boom in online video sharing has highlighted a capability gap which SYT is working towards bridging in order to engage Scotland’s young people in this digital social world.

Uist Wool
£5,000 (£10k requested)

Established in 2011, Uist Wool is advancing plans for the construction of a spinning mill in the Outer Hebrides. As identified through Ambition Approach, Uist Wool aims to integrate a range of digital development initiatives into the start-up phase of the business. The proposal is to acquire appropriate IT solutions that are matched to its operational needs as a cultural organisation and a production centre for artisan spinning.

Sustainable AmbITion:total £8,500,

Hi Arts £5,000

Hi Arts provides a range of development and support services for people working in the fields of the arts and heritage, across the Highlands & Islands, and elsewhere in Scotland. The proposal involves developing a web based interactive platform that will support independent and community managed museums to identify the best options to reduce resource use costs and greenhouse gas emissions.

Doune the Rabbit Hole

Doune the Rabbit Hole runs creative family friendly events which are free for under-12s, and wants to develop and widely advertise a ride-share scheme for people attending its rural festival location. This would be seamlessly embedded on the website and specific to each event to allow customers to access it without leaving the site.

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Contact: Dianne Greig
Phone: 07891144157