Media Release: £3m boost for youth arts, thanks to CashBack for Creativity


£3 million boost for young people to develop career skills thanks to confiscated funds from criminal activity 

Glasgow companies GMAC (GLASGOW MEDIA ARTS CENTRE) and the SCOTTISH MUSIC CENTRE recognised for their CashBack projects success

TODAY, Thursday 17 July, 2014, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, joined young filmmakers, musicians and dancers who are developing their career skills thanks to the confiscated funds from criminal activity.

Ms Hyslop announced new funding of £3million for CashBack for Creativity, an increase of a third from the previous funding period, which will be distributed over the next three years through the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme, which redistributes the proceeds of crime to benefit young people.

In the last three years (2011-2013) £2.25 million has been invested in CashBack for Creativity, providing over 15,000 opportunities for young people in Scotland to participate in arts activities they would not have otherwise had access to.

In 2013/14, GMAC received support of £50,000 to deliver Mad About Movies which involves young people learning about filmmaking and film literacy through a series of intensive workshops delivered during school holidays, film screenings and discussions. Young people are involved in every aspect of the design of the programme.

Beth Armstrong, GMAC film project manager, said: “There is something for everyone in the Mad About Movies programme, whether young people want to pursue a career in the creative industries or just have a place to hang out, watch movies and meet new friends.

“Every year we receive feedback from parents and carers to say that the experience of summer school has been life changing for their young people and it has had an impact on their school attendance, social life and general happiness! We actively talent spot and try to support gifted young people to continue their learning at GMAC Film and beyond.

“At this year’s summer school we have two participants who have just found out that they have been successful in their application to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to study Film & TV Production so they are now on their way to achieving their dream.”

The Scottish Music centre received £93,000 from CashBack for Creativity in 2011/12 which was used to deliver their Hit the Road project, which went nationwide from April 2012 – March 2013, providing first touring experiences to young musicians nad those interested in the backstage functions of touring.

Through her Cashback for Creativity experience with the Scottish Music Centre, Highlands based self-taught singer/songwriter, Jemma Tweedie gained access to a professional music studio with an experienced producer who helped record her debut single All This Fear which is now available on iTunes.

Jemma was also able to work with Music+, enabling her to develop her knowledge and understanding of specialised areas within the industry. She has been able to strengthen her skillset further having the opportunity to work with other musicians and producers of the same age and she is now working on creating new music with some fellow peers she met through the project.

Jemma said: “Without the CashBack for Creativity I would never have afforded such an opportunity being a full time university student on a tight budget. Following this, I completed a UK tour as a featured artist for Cafe Nero and have played numerous gigs and festivals across the country as well as being nominated as ‘best acoustic’ act at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMA’s) last year.

“The project provides fantastic opportunities to learn valuable information and develop skills with people who share similar interests. I think it is a very special programme as it has helped me achieve things I would never have been able to complete on my own. I would recommend it to anyone starting out or wanting to take their creativity further.”

The programme offers a wide range of activities and training opportunities which this year will be expanded to include all art forms including: dance, film, music, visual art, drama and literature, as well as digital media, for young people throughout Scotland, aged 0-25 years.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said: “The real impact of CashBack on young people’s lives can’t be expressed by statistics or in stark monetary terms – CashBack changes lives.

“The CashBack for Communities Programme takes funds recovered from the proceeds of crime and invests them in back into communities, putting young people on a positive path in life by providing opportunities for them to take part in thousands of free activities and projects.”

Leonie Bell, director of Arts and Engagement at Creative Scotland, said: “Providing opportunities for young people to get involved in the arts, theatre and cultural activities can help improve confidence and broaden their horizons.

“Over the next three years, the CashBack for Creativity programme will enable approximately 20,000 young would-be filmmakers, dancers, musicians, artists, actors, writers and digital enthusiasts to work in professional settings with experienced practitioners, helping to inspire them to achieve their potential in their future careers.

She added: “I was delighted to meet a number of young participants who have been given the chance to work on interesting and educational CashBack projects and develop their personal, social and career skills.”

CashBack for Creativity is part of the wider Scottish Government CashBack for Communities programme. To date, over £74 million has been made available to benefit over 600,000 young people in Scotland since CashBack for Communities began in 2011.


Notes to editors:

About CashBack for Creativity

CashBack for Creativity is part of the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme, which reinvests the proceeds of crime back into communities to benefit Scotland’s young people. In 2011, Creative Scotland was awarded £2.25 million from the CashBack programme to deliver a three year programme of dance, film and music activities for young people in communities of need across Scotland. Due to the success of the programme during this period, the programme has been awarded a grant of £3million, allocated through the CashBack for Creativity programme over three years from 2014-2017. The CashBack for Creativity programme will also be linked to the Youth Arts Development Hubs, the National Youth Arts Strategy – Time to Shine, the Youth Music Initiative and the Creative Learning Plan.
Twitter: @CB4Creativity #CashBack4Creativity

CashBack for Creativity 2014-17 Fund strandsYouth Arts Fund: The Open Arts Fund will be delivered in partnership with YouthLink and is based on the successful CashBack for Creativity Open Dance fund model. This programme will enable local organisations across the country to apply for funding of up to £10,000 to deliver a range of high quality arts activities (dance, drama, film, literature, music, visual arts) in areas where there is identified need.These will be short/medium term projects (up to a year) aimed at developing skills and interests and motivating young people to engage and sustain participation in positive activities.This programme will deliver a diverse range of activities across Scotland, through a wide range of art forms and partner organisations, increasing the level of provision and accessibility to high quality creative opportunities for young people.

The CashBack for Creativity Youth Arts Fund hopes to attract approximately 50 successful applicants each year from across Scotland with approximately 5,000 young people will engaged with annually as part of this fund. This fund will go live in August, please sign up for our newsletter for more details

CashBack for Creativity Strategic Fund:  The Strategic Fund will deliver a programme of learning and developmental activities to improve skills and confidence, whilst also raising aspirations and providing pathways for further learning, training, education and employment.

This fund will be delivered through a portfolio of selected projects in partnership with a range of organisations. This will enable the support of longer term projects and provide opportunities for more sustained engagement in the arts.

The CashBack for Creativity Strategic Fund hopes to involve approximately 1,500 young people each year, with an anticipated 80 per cent progressing into positive destinations including further education qualifications and employment.

Selected organisations have been invited to apply to the 2014 Strategic Fund based on geographic and strategic need. These awards will be announced in September 2014.

CashBack for Creativity Training and Employability Scheme: The Training and Employability Scheme will develop specially tailored Creative Industries training programmes in partnership with Further Education and Higher Education institutions across the country.

This programme will be delivered in partnership with the College Development Network and participants will be referred through liaison with youth agencies. Specially designed introductory courses and training specific to the Creative Industries as well as activities which will enhance participants’ employability and awareness of job opportunities available within the creative and cultural industries will be developed.

It is anticipated that this scheme will involve and three-to-four Further /Higher Education institutions and around 350 young people over the duration of the programme from all over the country. Details of the confirmed Training and Employability partners will be announced over the coming year.

About GMAC Glasgow

GMAC Film creates chances for people to learn about film making, develop their professional skills and make films. A media charity located in the city centre of Glasgow, GMAC Film has been at the heart of independent film in Scotland for 32 years. We provide affordable access to equipment, facilities and training for all people interested in moving image and filmmaking. Our training initiatives span film literacy, masterclasses, apprenticeships and a free and accessible youth programme.

Equality and diversity are at the heart of the GMAC Film ethos and the organisation aims to create a ladder of opportunity between the community and the screen industries in order to create a media sector that more accurately represents the diversity of the Scotland we live in.

Visit us at and like us at

About the Scottish Music Centre

The Scottish Music Centre was founded in 1969 as a support organisation for composers and musicians resident in Scotland. Since its relocation to Glasgow’s City Halls in 2006 it has been widely developed into a unique national resource for Scotland’s music sector (and an information source for the general public) while also delivering outreach projects for young people aged 5-25. Music Plus provides 14-19 year-olds with the unique opportunity to be mentored one-to-one by industry professionals.

About Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.

For further information about Creative Scotland please visit

Follow us @creativescots and

Media contact

Helen Sim
Media Relations & PR Assistant
Creative Scotland
: 07801 226605
D: 0131 523 0019
T: 0330 222 3000

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