Media Release: £247,210 funding boosts cultural activity across the Highlands & Islands


CREATIVE Scotland has awarded more than £247,000 through its Open Project Fund to support festivals, concerts, literature, screen, dance and digital activities in the Highlands & Islands.

The 2015 Celtic Media Festival which will be held in Inverness in April has received £15,000 whilst Ullapool Book Festival has received £12,725 towards its 11th edition in May and towards a literature and reading tent at Loopallu, Ullapool’s annual music festival, in September.

Chamber ensemble, Mahler Players has received £3,671 funding towards ‘Mahler in Miniature’, a series of concerts in the Highlands, conducted by their musical director Tomas Leakey. The performances will focus on chamber arrangements of major works by Gustav Mahler as well as featuring newly commissioned works by contemporary composers.

Author Mandy Haggith has received £15,000 funding towards the production and promotion of ‘Stone Stories’, a novel exploring the journey of a historical explorer, Pytheas of Massalia; and Simon Fildes has received £29,880 towards a multi-strand package of projects to support development of screen dance and digital activities across Scotland’s dance sector.

This news comes at the same time as Creative Scotland has awarded more than £1.3m to individual artists and organisations through its Open Project Fund right across Scotland.

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 between December and January 2015.

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. 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.”

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.

For interviews and photos please 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

Notes to Editors:

For full details please visit:

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 RELEASE issued by Creative Scotland. You too can post your story ideas for journalists (aka Press or media releases), on Email for more information.

Check out for your very own media releases feed…

Check out too

To catch up on all the media releases recently posted on to, you need only click the link icon that you see towards the bottom right of our two media release ‘gateway boxes’.

Link iconIt’s this icon, here. It’s your route straight into the rich archive.

Creative Scotland contact details…

Contact: Sophie Bambrough