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Fund aims to support creative youth in wake of Covid-19 pandemic

By Alan Beresford

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DETAILS have been unveiled of the first two funds of a £3 million Scottish Government emergency funding package designed to ensure creative opportunities for children and young people continue across Scotland in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop.
Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop.

A total of at least £1.2 million in now available through the Access to Youth Arts Fund. Building on the successful Youth Music Initiative (YMI) Access to Music Making Fund, this is designed to support an increased range of music-making projects, as well as introducing projects delivering across wider art-form areas.

Fund guidelines including eligibility criteria and application forms can be accessed on the Creative Scotland website.

The roll out of the Youth Arts funds will continue this Thursday with the launch of a £700,000 Small Grants Scheme which will be open to organisations and local authorities and will provide funding directly to freelance artists to undertake artist led youth arts activities within communities.

A further £50,000 is being assigned to the Time to Shine Nurturing Talent Fund which provides direct support to young people to develop and produce their own creative projects.

In addition, £1,050,000 is being allocated to support a number of targeted national and local area youth music and wider youth arts organisations with established track records and existing relationships with freelancers working with the fund’s priority groups to support the recovery and renewal of youth arts provision.

These organisations will be invited to apply for the Youth Arts Targeted Fund by Tuesday, October 13.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “We are determined that our children and young people will not miss out on creative opportunities a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

"Art and music in particular have helped many people during lockdown, so the launch of these funds is very welcome. Our musicians, artists and other practitioners working in the youth arts sector are also highly skilled and often highly specialised, and this funding will provide jobs and opportunities within the sector.”

Iain Munro, Chief Executive of Creative Scotland, added: “I’m pleased to be able to announce today the roll out of additional funding support for Youth Arts, a vital part of Scotland’s cultural sector and an important part of the emergency funding package announced a few weeks ago by the First Minister.

"It’s right that part of that overall emergency package supports artists, freelancers and organisations working with young people and that creative opportunities for young people continue despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The Youth Arts funds are the latest of five new emergency funds from Scottish Government through Creative Scotland, announced by the First Minister on Friday, August 28.

Updates on all emergency funds are being published regularly on the Creative Scotland website and publicised through media and social media communications.

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