Justice Secretary joins with stars of rock and football to handover Fender guitars for young Scottish musicians

Published: 18 Feb 2014

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill, leading Scottish rock musicians and a Football legend came together today at Hibernian Football Club to present young musicians with guitars donated by the Fender Music Foundation to a programme funded by monies seized from criminals.

Mr MacAskill was joined at Easter Road by Dirk Robertson from the Foundation and Hibernian FC Legend Michael Weir to watch the guitars put through their paces as musicians Rod Jones from Idlewild and Louis Abbott from Admiral Fallow took part in a workshop with young Edinburgh musicians who’ve learnt to play thanks to SPFL Music Box.

The Fender Music Foundation has donated seven Stratocaster guitars for use by young people taking part in SPFL Music Box throughout Scotland.

At Easter Road this year, young people are enjoying chances to take part in song writing and recording workshops, learn about the wider music industry and participate in performances and showcases. No experience is required to take part and all instruments are provided for free.

Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: 

“I am delighted to be here today to see how young people in Scotland are benefitting from the unique Cashback-funded Music Box scheme. “I am extremely grateful to Dirk Robertson and the Fender Music Foundation for their donation of Fender Guitars to the Cashback- funded Music Box scheme. This is the first time the Fender Guitar Foundation have donated guitars outside the USA and I hope this generous donation will be the start of strong and vibrant relationship between Cashback and the Foundation. “I’d also like to extend my thanks to the SPFL Trust and Hibernian Football Club for hosting this event and to the musicians who have given up their time to come along today

“Since Cashback for Communities was introduced by this Government in 2007, thousands of young people have benefited from over 1.1 million sporting, arts and community activities, all funded from ill-gotten cash seized from crooks.
“Last week we announced that a further £24m of funding will become available to organisations like this one right across Scotland, taking the total we have invested in Cashback to over £74m.”

Dirk Robertson, Fender Music Foundation, said:

“Music feeds the soul, playing an instrument gives you a means to communicate with the world, so you can join people, inside, instead of being outside, waiting for them.”

Billy Singh, General Manager SPFL Trust:
“The SPFL Trust would like to sincerely thank the Fender Music Foundation for their generous donation of guitars to our Music Box project. In partnership with our top Scottish football clubs, Music Box gives young people across Scotland the chance to take part in free music workshops at their local club, and the addition of some top of the range guitars will make their experience all the better” 

Leonie Bell, Acting Director of Creative Development at Creative Scotland concluded:

“SPFL Music Box is opening up a world of music making to young people across Scotland, in particular those who wouldn’t have these amazing opportunities thanks to the fact it is free to take part. The fantastic generosity of the Fender Music Foundation in donating these guitars is hugely appreciated by everyone involved in delivering and supporting SPFL Music Box.”

SPFL Music Box offers young people aged 10-16 who are interested in learning a musical instrument free music sessions at fourteen of Scotland's top football clubs.

It is supported through Creative Scotland’s CashBack for Creativity programme, the creative aspect of the Scottish Government’s Cashback for Communities programme which takes monies seized from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act and invest it into activities for young people across Scotland.


Notes to Editors

Cashback for Creativity

  • Creative Scotland’s Cashback for Creativity programme creates opportunities for young people across Scotland to take part in film, dance and music activities.
  • Creative Scotland is the national organisation that funds and supports the development of Scotland’s arts, screen and creative industries. Creative Scotland has four objectives: to develop and sustain a thriving environment for the arts, screen and creative industries; to support excellence in artistic and creative      practice; to improve access to and participation in, arts and creative activity; and to deliver our services efficiently and effectively. In 2013/14 we will distribute over £100m in funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.  
  • For further information on Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com.  Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

Cashback for Communities

  • The Scottish Government’s Cashback for Communities programme uses the ill-gotten gains of crime, recovered through the Proceeds of Crime Act, and invests them back into communities across Scotland.
  • Projects range from diversionary sporting activity to long-term potentially life-changing intervention projects, which aim to turn an individual’s life around and provide them the  opportunity of a positive destination such as employment, education, or volunteering.
  • For more  information about Cashback for Communities visit:  www.cashbackforcommunities.org

The Fender Music Foundation is a US-based national music charity that provides instruments to music education programs across the country, including schools. –For more information visit: fendermusicfoundation.org

For more information about SPFL Music Box visit: www.splmusicbox.com

The Scottish Professional Football League Trust is an independent charity that works in partnership with all 42 professional football clubs in Scotland to create opportunities at the heart of Scotland’s communities that bring people together and change lives for the better. The key pillars of activity for the Trust are: Health, Citizenship, Achievement and Sports Participation.

SPFL Trust Board
Bob Winter OBE: Chairperson of the SPFL Trust, former Lord Provost of Glasgow
Iain Blair: Vice Chairperson of the SPFL Trust, Operations Director and Company Secretary, Scottish Professional Football League
Rory Mair CBE: Treasurer of the SPFL Trust, Chief Executive of COSLA
Tony Higgins: Board member of FIFPro (World Professional Footballers Union)
Roddy Forsyth: Journalist and Broadcaster
Alison Walker: Journalist and Broadcaster

Current SPFL Trust projects include the award winning healthy lifestyle initiative Football Fans in Training, Music Box, Still Game (for over 55s) and youth employment programme My Club. Funding partners include Scottish Government, Creative Scotland, Comic Relief and The Princes Trust.

For more information on Hibernian Community Foundation and Hibernian Football Club’s work at the heart of its local community visit: www.hibernianinthecommunity.org.uk