Media Release: £1.3m Open Project Funding awards boost cultural activity across Scotland


61 awards of between £1,500 and £100,000 made to
individual artists and organisations from Dec 2014 – Jan 2015

CREATIVE Scotland has awarded more than £1.3m through its Open Project Fund to support festivals, research and development, production, national and international touring and the purchase of vital equipment, from December 2014 to the end of January 2015.

Sixty-one individuals and projects across the arts, screen and creative industries and based throughout Scotland, received awards of between £1,500 and £100,000.

There are no deadlines attached to Open Project Funding.

Applications are reviewed on a weekly basis and decisions provided within eight weeks for applications less than £15,000 and 12 weeks for applications more than £15,000. This means that individuals and organisations can apply at a time that suits their needs and their practice.

This new funding route, launched in October 2014, reflects Creative Scotland’s commitment to simplification and clarity and replaces multiple funding routes that previously existed. Applicants can apply for funding amounts between £1,000 and £100,000 (or up to £150,000 by exception) for projects lasting up to two years.

Open Project funding has been awarded to eleven festivals across the country including the Hebridean Celtic Festival, Celtic Media Festival, Glasgow International Jazz Festival, East Neuk Festival and Ullapool Book Festival.

Funding has also gone towards the LGBT History Month.

Writers, Claire Askew, Justin Ruthven-Tyers, Mandy Haggith and Ishbelle Bee are amongst individuals receiving support alongside milliner and accessories designer Sally-Ann Provan, dance artist Joan Lopez-Cleville, choreographer and performer Louise Ahl and sculptor, musician and performer Sarah Kenchington.

Glasgow rock band, Vasa, and Edinburgh band, War Charge, have received funding to record and release their albums.

Dundee Rep Theatre has been awarded £57,000 to take its production of In My Father’s Words, a play in Gaelic and English, to Broadway this summer and new productions from Aberdeen International Youth Festival, Proiseact Nan Ealan, UZ Arts and Universal Arts Productions have been supported.

Funding has gone towards short film competition the 48-Hour Film Project; a regular monthly programme of film screenings in Campbeltown during the restoration and redevelopment of the Picture House; the purchase and installation of cinema equipment at the Phoenix Cinema in Oban, Victoria Hall in Ellon and Film Mobile Scotland to improve the access, presentation and enjoyment of film for audiences in rural parts of Scotland.

Significant awards have been made to UZ Arts, receiving £150,000 towards Moving Out, an international festival programme, series of residencies, workshops, and a symposium, and to engage, the National Association for Gallery Education receiving £99,962 to deliver a programme of activities for gallery educators and visual arts professionals across Scotland.

A full list of awards is available here.

Janet Archer, chief executive of Creative Scotland, said:

“Open Project Funding is one of the three key elements of our new funding approach, delivering the promise of simplicity and clear routes to funding for those we are here to support.

“I’m particularly pleased that we are able to operate the Open Project Fund without deadlines. Demand is high, so we are allocating budgets across the year, which means that both individuals and organisations can apply at a time that suits them. This is something that has been asked for and we are responding accordingly.

“Alongside our Regular and Targeted funding routes, Open Project Funding aims to support work across a broad range of practice and scale and across all parts of Scotland.

“This route to funding helps artists and creative people bring their ideas to life, increasing the quality, strength and diversity of culture in Scotland, delivering real benefits for everyone that lives here.

“Over £1m of these awards has been allocated from National Lottery funds. Alongside funding from the Scottish Government, The National Lottery forms a vital part of funding support for the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland and it is important to recognise this.”

East Neuk Festival is one of the first projects to benefit from a two year funding commitment, which wasn’t possible through the project-based funding programmes previously operated by Creative Scotland. On receiving £100,000 funding, artistic director, Svend Brown, said:

“East Neuk Festival enters its second decade in 2015 and we are delighted to be doing so with the news of this two-year support from Creative Scotland. It both secures our ambitious programme for 2015 and enables us to plan for 2016 with greater security: like most other arts organisations we see every aspect of what we do vastly enhanced by the possibility to plan further ahead.”

In My Fathers Words was produced by The Dundee Rep Theatre as part of the Culture 2014 strand for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, and toured the Highlands and Islands after its runs in Glasgow and Dundee. Written by Justin Young with Gaelic by Iain Finlay MacLeod, In My Father’s Words is set around Lake Ontario and explores Scottish emigrants’ experiences and the recovery of language and identity. It was produced and directed by Philip Howard, joint artistic director of the Rep.

He said: “Taking In My Father’s Words to New York gives us an incredible opportunity to develop our international touring skills while showcasing Dundee Rep on an international stage. Performing at a festival which celebrates the best of new works from British theatre will significantly raise our profile, as well as that of theatre in Scotland.

“We have been extending our Scottish touring networks, and this will build on that skills base, giving our technical, and production staff a fantastic opportunity to work in New York and offering international exposure for the cast.

“Performing in New York will allow us to extend the life of the project further, and give us an exciting opportunity to present the production and play to new audiences and promoters in North America.”

Details of the Open Project Fund and all other Creative Scotland funding can be found on our website at

Open Project Funding commenced on 1 October, 2014 and sits alongside Regular and Targeted Funding as one of Creative Scotland’s three funding routes.

Notes to Editors:

Open Project Funding is available to a wide range of organisations and individuals working across Scotland in the arts, screen and creative industries. Open Project Funding replaces most of the project based funding programmes previously operated by Creative Scotland. Open Project Funding supports a broad spectrum of activity including: creative and professional development; research and development; production; small capital requirements; touring and collaborations; festivals; arts programming; audience development, etc. A full list of activities supported through this route is set out in the Open Project Funding application guidance. Support is available for projects of different scale and duration with the maximum period of award being set at two years. Awards are made in the range £1,000 to £100,000 (or up to £150,000 by exception).

Guidelines published: 1 October 2014
Open for applications: 31 October 2014
Funding awarded: From December 2014 (for a period up to two years)

Open Project Funding is one strand of Creative Scotland’s new funding approach which was announced on 9 April 2014: ( and reflects Creative Scotland’s commitment to introduce a clear and simple funding approach that provides access to both long-term and project funding for individuals and organisations, as set out in our Action Plan for Change, published in March 2013 (

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
Sophie Bambrough
Media Relations & PR Officer
Creative Scotland
T: +44 (0) 131 523 0015
M: +44 (0) 774 760 6146
Switch Board: +44 (0) 330 333 2000

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