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Youth Music Initiative Funding

Youth Arts Emergency Funding

In August 2020, the Scottish Government announced that the culture and heritage sectors in Scotland were to benefit from a £59 million funding package to protect jobs and help the industry weather the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As part of this announcement £3m was allocated to support youth arts and ensure creative opportunities for children and young people continue to exist across Scotland despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Find out more about different strands of the emergency funding on the Youth Arts Fund page.

About the YMI Programme

Creative Scotland administers the Scottish Government’s Youth Music Initiative (YMI) programme which in 2020-21 will:

  • Create access to high-quality music-making opportunities for young people aged 0-25 years, particularly for those that would not normally have the chance to participate
  • Enable young people to achieve their potential in or through music making
  • Support the development of the youth music sector for the benefit of young people

Stay up to date with the programme by signing up to the YMI mailing list below. You can also keep up to date with all things YMI by following the hashtag #YMIScotland.

Apply for Funding

School-Based Music-Making (Formula Fund)


Following discussions with the Scottish Government in response to Covid-19 and disruption to school provisions the YMI Formula Fund in 2020-21 will:

  • Continue to deliver against its existing vision, aims and outcomes for the programme.
  • Prioritise projects focusing on tackling inequality so that the fund’s reach priority groups, or wider groups of children and young people identified as being adversely affected by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Support the local authorities’ increased focus on health and wellbeing.
  • Offer innovative approaches to the use of digital technology.
  • Relax the requirement to achieve the Scottish Government commitment: every school pupil in Scotland should be offered a year free music tuition by the time they leave primary school.

Who Can Apply

This is a targeted fund for Scotland’s 32 Local Authorities and Jordanhill School. Activity supported through this route commences at the beginning of the academic year in August 2020. For more information on local authority YMI programmes contact your YMI Formula Fund contact (Word document).



The overall £3m Youth Arts Fund has largely been provided to enhance the existing Youth Music Initiative programme (YMI) managed by Creative Scotland. The YMI Access to Music Making fund is an established strand of the annual YMI programme creating access to high-quality music-making for children and young people aged 0-25 years. This Access Fund builds on Access to Music Making to use the new Youth Arts Fund to support an increased range of music-making projects, as well as introducing projects which deliver across wider art form areas.

Who Can Apply

Applications can come from organisations and individuals based in Scotland or who are delivering programmes within Scotland for the benefit of the people of Scotland.

Organisations already in receipt of Regular Funding from Creative Scotland can apply but should discuss their intention to apply with their lead officer in the first instance.

Who cannot apply?

Applications will not be accepted from:

  • Schools and/or their associated organisations, such as Parent Teacher Associations
  • Instrumental Music Services and existing music programmes and services based in local authorities

In addition, this fund will not support applications which propose to create permanent full-time or part-time posts.

How to apply

You can find more information about this fund on the Youth Access Fund page.


The deadline for this fund is Thursday 12 November 2020.

Strengthening Youth Music


The purpose of the Strengthening Youth Music fund is to improve the youth music sector infrastructure and the services that organisers offer. It supports strategic action, research or training that will strengthen the youth music sector in Scotland for the benefit of young people. The purpose of this fund is not to support project delivery directly with young people.

Who can apply

Applications to Strengthening Youth Music can come from organisations and individuals based in Scotland or who are delivering programmes within Scotland for the benefit of the people of Scotland.


There will be no deadlines for this fund in 2020.

YMI CPD and Training Fund


This fund will support individuals, organisations and networks who work outwith school settings to undertake training and continuing professional development that will strengthen youth music in Scotland for the benefit of young people. In light of COVID-19 changes have been made to the guidelines to widen access to the fund by including training projects newly devised / adapted for online participation only.

Who can apply

Applications will be accepted from individuals, organisations and networks who work outwith school settings.


The YMI CPD and Training fund is currently open for applications until all funding is allocated. More information can be found on the Scottish Music Centre website.

To keep up to date with the latest news, sign up to the YMI newsletter at the bottom of the page and follow us at @CreativeScots.

Further advice and information

If you would like more information about Youth Music Initiative, you can contact:

If you require support, further information or have any general enquiries about the application process please contact our Enquiries Service. Our Enquiries Service will be able to advise you or will put you in contact with one of our officers.

If you are a D/deaf BSL user, you can access our services with the Contact Scotland-BSL programme. Go to www.contactscotland-bsl.org/public for more information.

For more information on how to contact us via social media or our website - visit creativescotland.com/contact-us.


YMI Formula Fund Guidance 2020

View and download the YMI Formula Fund Guidance 2020 in PDF format.

YMI Formula Fund Additional Guidance 2020

View and download the YMI Formula Fund Additional Guidance 2020 in PDF format.

Sign up to the YMI mailing list

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Tick to confirm you want to receive information about new YMI fund announcements and reminders of key application deadlines, along with important updates about the Initiative.