Media Release: Over £3.1m to boost youth arts provision across Scotland

National Youth Arts Strategy

 Over £3.1m to boost youth arts provision across Scotland 

Nine Youth Arts Hubs created:

Aberdeen and North East, Argyll, Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Fife, Glasgow, Highlands, Moray and West Dunbartonshire

CREATIVE Scotland is delighted to announce £3.1 million support to help boost youth arts provision across Scotland.

The funding is being announced as part of Scotland’s National Youth Arts Strategy Time To Shine and will be used to create a network of regional Youth Arts Hubs across the country.

The Hubs – in Aberdeen and North East, Argyll, Ayrshire, Edinburgh, Fife, Glasgow, Highlands, Moray and West Dunbartonshire – are being formed through partnerships between local and national arts and youth services providers, to increase access to youth arts across Scotland across a range of art forms.

Acting as focal points for regional youth arts delivery, the Hubs will nurture and celebrate ambition, enthusiasm and talent in Scotland’s young people by improving the regional infrastructure. Young people will be central to the decision making process and development of the Youth Arts Hubs.

Leonie Bell, director of Arts & Engagement, Creative Scotland, said:

“Through making connections and developing new projects these Hubs will enable more children and young people to take part in creative activities close to where they live.

“These Hubs will not only create opportunities for young people to shine and express themselves creatively; but also by placing them at the heart of the creation and delivery of the new work, the young people will develop skills and expertise which will be invaluable to their futures.”

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Sectary for Culture Secretary, said:

“The Scottish Government is committed to supporting all of Scotland’s children and young people to flourish and achieve in the arts, and to make Scotland an international leader for creativity for children and young people.  The Youth Arts Hubs will build on the well-established links between culture, education, youth employment and personal development, and will help us to deliver a step change in our youth arts provision in Scotland.”

Youth Arts Hubs are:

Aberdeen / Aberdeenshire

Aberdeen Performing Arts will work in partnership with youth and arts providers to deliver the Youth Arts Hub for Aberdeen and the North East.  The Hub will harness the energy and creative potential of young people in the region aged 0-25 through an inclusive, innovative and engaging programme of youth arts activity which is shaped and driven by the participants.  Planned activities include a young promoters and advocacy scheme, which will be informed by a youth advisory forum and include activity targeted at the unique demographics of this region.

Youth Arts Hub partners for this area include Aberdeen Performing Arts,  Aberdeen City Council, Aberdeen Foyer, Aberdeen International Youth Festival, Arts Centre & Theatre Aberdeen, Belmont Picturehouse, Citymoves Dance Agency, Frozen Charlotte, Music 4 U, North East Arts Touring, Sound Festival, Station House Media Unit and Woodend Barn.  (£400,000)

Ben Torrie, director of Programming and Creative Projects, Aberdeen Performing Arts, said:

“Aberdeen Performing Arts and its partners are thrilled and honoured to be selected to deliver a Youth Arts Hub for Aberdeen and the North East.  There are nearly 150,000 young people living in Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire, and we are eager to enrich and improve the lives of as many as we can, particularly marginalised young people, looked after children and those from diverse cultural backgrounds.  We also believe that this gives us a unique opportunity to engage with young people in order to build a more creative and vibrant cultural landscape for the region.”

Argyll and Bute

Comar will work in partnership with youth and arts providers to deliver the Youth Arts Hub for Argyll and Bute. The Hub will work towards a ten year vision for the sector to make Argyll and Bute an inspirational place for young peoples’ engagement with the arts, where their lives are shaped by cultural experience, and where their own contribution and participation in artistic endeavours positively influence communities throughout the area.

Youth Arts Hub partners for this area include Comar, Cove Park, Dunoon Burgh Halls, Artmap Argyll, ArtsQwest, The Touring Network, Argyll College, Argyll and Bute Council and CNTV. (£400,000)

Caroline Winn, chief executive Officer at Comar, said:

“On behalf of all of our collective partners, Comar is absolutely delighted to have received news of this investment and the amazing opportunity it affords all of us to establish a Youth Arts Hub in Argyll and Bute over the next two years.

“By working closely in partnership, this incredible investment allows artists and organisations to work together, ensuring that all of our young people have access to the arts and the chance to realise and progress their talents through the creation of a network and a central focus for youth arts activity in Argyll and Bute.”


Ayr Gaiety Partnership will work in partnership with youth and arts providers to deliver the Youth Arts Hub for Ayrshire through Ayrshine. Ayrshine is a youth-led arts initiative connecting artists, young people, public organisations and the voluntary sector across Ayrshire.

Its key elements include Ayrshine TV, new and existing events, a youth arts circuit and innovation projects. The main focus for Ayrshine activities is to support and extend youth arts activity outside formal schooling and education.

Youth Arts Hub partners for this area include Ayr Gaiety Partnership, Impact Arts, URTV, North, South & East Ayrshire Councils, University of the West of Scotland and Ayrshire College. (£399,000)

Jeremy Wyatt, executive director, Ayr Gaiety Partnership, said:

“We are delighted that Creative Scotland have decided to back the Ayrshire partnership. There are already productive new relationships forming and I expect the funding to be a catalyst for many more. Our first step will be setting up the youth panel to lead on the key decisions going forward.”

Edinburgh and Lothians

Out of the Blue Arts and Education Trust will work in partnership with youth and arts providers to deliver the Creative Mix/Youth Hive project – a hive of networked and staged multi-arts activity for Edinburgh and the Lothians. The Hive will build on activities currently undertaken with young people by the partners and develop and promote innovative practice in youth arts.

The project plan includes the development and creation of creative apprenticeships, traineeships and work experience opportunities for young people.

Youth Arts Hub partners for this area include Out of the Blue Arts and Education Trust, The Bongo Club, Creative Electric, Red Kite Animation, Strange Town, Verden Studios, North Edinburgh Arts, Lucky Frame, Scottish Kids are Making Movies, Active Inquiry, PyroCeltica, WHALE Arts, Edinburgh City Libraries & Information Service.  (£289,087)

Rob Hoon, Out of the Blue manager, said:

“Out of the Blue are delighted to have been successful in our application to create and connect a hive of multi arts activity, many platforms for performance, training placements and an opportunity for young people to take charge of creating their own creative social enterprise. Activity will mushroom throughout Edinburgh and the Lothians giving young people a chance to work with some of the most experienced and skilled artist practitioners in Scotland.”


Fife Cultural Trust will deliver Youth Arts Hub outlets in the seven areas of Fife - Kirkcaldy, Dunfermline, Glenrothes, Cowdenbeath, Levenmouth, North East Fife and South West Fife, in addition to an eighth virtual digital Hub, Hub8.

Working across multiple art-forms, at staged levels of engagement, and with local, regional and national partners, Fife’s Youth Arts Hub will create a programme of arts provision for young people in the area.

Youth Arts Hub partners for this area include Fife Cultural Trust, Fife Council, Fife Youth Theatre, Anim8s, Caged Beastie, Fife College, Youth Music Theatre Scotland, Fife Film Crew, Starcatchers, Youth Theatre Arts Scotland, All Or Nothing  and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  (£400,000)

Heather Stuart, chief executive of Fife Cultural Trust, said:

“Creative Scotland’s support for the development of Youth Arts Hubs across Fife is a significant vote of confidence in the young people of the area. The project, which will be delivered by Fife Cultural Trust and key partners will further embed youth arts engagement across Fife and will allow young people to have real influence and a clear voice. The young people involved in this project will drive and shape it, building capacity, skills and legacy for the future.”


Glasgow Connected Arts Network (CAN) – a grassroots participative network of arts, youth and public sector organisations in Glasgow city –  will work together to increase the access, quality and quantity of youth arts provision across Glasgow through greater collaboration, inspirational opportunities and more effective signposting.

Hub activity will include networking events, a youth arts festival, opportunities to explore art forms, review sessions with an art critic and an artist and mentoring opportunities.

GlasgowCAN partners are Toonspeak Young People’s Theatre, New Rhythms for Glasgow, Depot Arts, conFAB, Project Ability, DASH Club, Dancetime, Childrens Classic Concerts, Ignite Theatre, GMAC, Greater Easterhouse Arts Company, The Village Storytelling Centre, Plantation Productions, SWAMP, Hot Tap Media, Somewhere to_, Glad Cafe, Arts In the City, Core Assets, Bolt FM, Tron Theatre, Glasgow Life Arts Development and See Think Make. (£290,069)

On behalf of GlasgowCAN, Sarah Longfield, said:

“Glasgow Connected Arts Network are delighted to have been successful in receiving such a substantial grant to develop the infrastructure and breadth of youth arts across the city. We will be able to offer more high quality free arts provision for all young Glasweigans, targeting those who are harder to reach and linking up some of the excellent work already in place.

“We also welcome the opportunity to feed into a national network to share best practice and resources to strengthen youth arts opportunities across Scotland.”


Fèis Rois will work together with partners to deliver the Highland Youth Arts Hub to extend the breadth and depth of engagement in the youth arts in Highland.

The Hub will create and develop an infrastructure for the children and young peoples’ arts sector in the region, fill gaps in arts provision and have an emphasis on working collaboratively to develop multi-artform ideas.

Key initiatives include the development of a new youth arts strategy specifically for the Highlands; the creation and delivery of a programme of multi-artform projects, and work placements, mentoring, residencies, peer-to-peer support and links to professional and international networks for 16-25 year-olds.

Youth Arts Hub partners for the area include Fèis Rois, Aros / Skye Dance, Eden Court Theatre, Fèisean nan Gàidheal, Highland Council, Highland Print Studio, High Life Highland, Moniack Mhòr, Plan B, Room 13, University of the Highlands & Islands, Youth Highland.  (£400,000)

Fiona Dalgetty, chief executive of Fèis Rois, said:

“Many organisations and artists are already working together to provide a range of opportunities for young people to engage in the arts across the Highlands. We are hugely excited at the opportunity to grow and develop this collaborative practice through a new Youth Arts Hub for the Highlands. This new funding will enable Fèis Rois and our many partners to develop exciting new programmes of work that will widen our reach across the region.”


Findhorn Bay Arts will work with partners to progress and iGNITE Children & Youth Arts provision, throughout Moray.  iGNITe will explore a new model of arts provision for young people that will nurture creativity and new talent.

iGNITE’s programme of arts activities for young people includes the out and about programme, a pop-up studio that will travel in a branded van to twelve venues across Moray to enable more young people to take part in professionally led taster activities. The Hub will also create a youth arts mentor programme.

Youth Arts Hub partners for the area include Findhorn Bay Arts, Arts in Motion, Electrolabs, Aberdeen International Youth Festival, Sound, Eden Court, Scottish Opera, Youth Theatre Arts Scotland, Moray Council, Moray College UHI, Touring Network, Elemental Community Arts, Lossie Rock Academy, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Wildbird, Right Lines Productions, Screen HI, Bodysurf Scotland, Out of the Darkness Theatre Company, Knockando Woolmill.(£205,819)

Kresanna Aigner, director at Findhorn Bay Arts Festival, said:

“The Youth Arts Hub, and the funding to support iGNITE is incredibly exciting news and presents a tangiable opportunity for all our iGNITE partners, and in particular for children and young people in Moray. Receiving this award is a tribute to all of the hard work we all do to ensure arts, culture, creativity remain alive and are ‘ignited’ into the lives of communities in Moray.

“In order to achieve the aims of iGNITE Findhorn Bay Arts will develop a number of arts partnerships, locally and nationally and work with a range of individual artists to ensure a high quality and range of arts activity is progressed for children and young people in Moray”

West Dunbartonshire

West Dunbartonshire’s youth support organisation Y Sort It will work with partners to deliver #FreshCreations, a new space for West Dunbartonshire’s young creatives. #FreshCreations is both virtual and physical and connects young people to projects, activities, events and initiatives to inspire and invigorate. #FreshCreations will place young people at the centre of decision making and will make the arts a welcoming, accessible and relevant place to be.

Youth Arts Hub partners for the area include Y Sort It, West Dunbartonshire Council Arts & Heritage, CAOS (Community Arts Open Space), Scottish Music Centre: ‘Music Plus’, Media Co-Op, West College Scotland, Tullochan, The Pulse, CAOSYoung Scot, Enable and The Prince’s Trust. (£338,177)

Daniel McCormick, vice chair, Y sort it Youth Management Board, said:

“#Fresh Creations will offer local young people from West Dunbartonshire the opportunity to shape a new and improved programme of youth art activities and the opportunity to design and develop specific innovative youth art spaces for young people. I know first-hand how the support  from Y sort it, can change any young persons life, the investment from Creative Scotland to create a West Dunbartonshire Youth Arts Hub won’t just be the beginning of #FreshCreations, it could mean a fresh start for many young people.”


Notes to Editors:

Time to Shine: The Hubs are a key element of Scotland’s National Youth Arts Strategy, Time to Shine. The strategy sets out a vision and key recommendations to enable Scotland’s children and young people to flourish and achieve, in and through the arts and creativity.

For further information please see:

The £3.1m announced today is part of £5m funding awarded to Creative Scotland from Scottish Governments Young Scots Fund over the next two years to support initiatives based on key objectives of Time to Shine, Scotland National Youth Arts Strategy.

The Young Scots Fund was a significant initiative launched in the 2012-13 budget worth £50m that would invest over the following four years in emerging young talent in sport, enterprise and creativity. This investment in our young people is an investment in a better future for Scotland. It will range across a number of projects. It will provide opportunities for developing, encouraging and building talent, for Young Scots to excel and realise their potential as our future entrepreneurs, creative practitioners and sports champions.

Creative Scotland is the national organisation that funds and supports the development of Scotland’s arts, screen and creative industries.  Creative Scotland has four objectives: to develop and sustain a thriving environment for the arts, screen and creative industries; to support excellence in artistic and creative practice; to improve access to and participation in, arts and creative activity; and to deliver our services efficiently and effectively.  For further information on Creative Scotland please visit

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