Media Release: £91,000 of funding for Scotland’s arts, cultural and heritage sectors to meet digital ambitions

Julie Tait Director Culture Sparks

TODAY, 1 May 2013, Scotland’s arts, culture and heritage organisations have received a £91,000 investment of National Lottery funds to capitalise on opportunities presented by digital technologies in a third round of funding from AmbITion Scotland’s Make:IT:Happen fund.

Following the first award of £85,000 in October 2012, and the second of £89,000 in February 2013, supporting 13 and 14 organisations respectively, this latest cycle of funding will help 15 organisations across Scotland to digitally develop a diverse range of opportunities.

From employing an in-house ‘geek’ at a cultural hub on the island of Eigg, to developing rich video content for Edinburgh International Science Festival events, and using digitised archived sound recordings for traditional culture workshops, the funding will provide strategic and practical support for a wide range of projects.

The investment has been made available through AmbITion Scotland’s Make:IT:Happen fund which is part of Creative Scotland’s national digital development programme.

This is the third of five cycles of funding opportunities aimed at enabling Scotland’s creative organisations to increase business capability, capacity and creativity at every stage of their digital development, through a range of four digital investment funds:

AmbITion Approach 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: Promote YT, the national development organisation for youth theatre arts in Scotland; Artlink Central Limited a participatory arts agency in central Scotland; Glasgow East Arts Company; Vanishing Point theatre company; and Pitlochry Festival Theatre.

Organisational Development assists organisations to take advantage of digital technologies to grow their businesses, develop ideas and improve operational capacity.

Successful applicants are: Archaeology ScotlandEigg BoxGlasgow Women’s LibraryLocal Voices which helps local communities across Scotland to re-engage with traditional Scottish songs, music and stories; and Puppet Animation Scotland.

Digital Content Development gives organisations the opportunity to enhance their digital development activity through the creation, or better use of digital content.

Successful applicants are: Aberdeen Performing ArtsEdinburgh International Science Festival; and Scottish National Jazz Orchestra.

Sustainable AmbITion supports organisations to be carbon-aware and improve their environmental credentials through funding new digital technologies or approaches.

Successful applicants are: Creative Carbon Scotland a partnership of arts organisations that puts culture at the heart of a sustainable Scotland; and Dance Base.

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 for digital development, 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’s wider programme of learning and networking resources.

“It’s a privilege to be able to work with such a wide range of organisations on some really impactful and imaginative projects.”

Julie Tait, director, Culture Sparks, said: “At Culture Sparks we work closely with a wide range of artists and arts organisations, and, right across the sector, we’ve seen a very real need for seed funding, advice and practical support to foster growth.

“Judging by the latest round of applications, The Make:IT:Happen Fund is proving its worth, unlocking the potential of the latent talent and creativity evident across the cultural sector to increase access and new routes to engagement”

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 has pioneered a participatory Peer Review method of decision-making for applications to the Digital Content Development funding strand.

Iain Munro, acting CEO, Creative Scotland, said: “Make:It:Happen continues to help a diverse range of organisations use digital technologies to develop new projects and strengthen and grow their businesses.

“This is not only great news for the organisations themselves, it benefits the cultural sector in this country as a whole.

“Making the most of the opportunities presented to us by digital technologies and building a more robust and sustainable digital infrastructure is vital to the continued success and growth of Scotland’s cultural sector.”

A further two application periods for the Make:IT:Happen fund will take place: the first is open from now until June 2013 (decisions by 31 July 2013) and the final round of funding deadlines will be between July 2013 and 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

AmbITion Scotland is a digital development programme specifically designed to support individuals and organisations working in the arts, culture and heritage sectors in Scotland. 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.

MEDIA RELEASE posted by Culture Sparks. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: Dianne Greig