New funding to nurture the creative talents of young people

Published: 06 Jun 2017

Time To Shine Unconvention, photo: Eoin Carey

New funding to nurture the creative talents of young people and a new National Youth Arts Advisory Group for Scotland have been announced by Creative Scotland and Young Scot.

Over the next two years, a National Youth Arts Advisory Group (NYAAG) will issue £40,000 to support young people’s creativity through a new Nurturing Talent Fund. The fund will support a wide variety of projects by young people aged 14-20 and could be used, for example, to record a demo with their band, access training, build a portfolio of work or put on an exhibition.

Creative Scotland is working with Young Scot to select the new National Youth Arts Advisory Group for Scotland to administer the Nurturing Talent Fund. The group of 30 volunteers, aged 14-23, will evaluate and select all the successful applicants.

Applications for the fund are now open. The £40,000 will be distributed over twelve funding rounds taking place every two months. Applicants can apply for up to £600.

In addition to administering the Nurturing Talent Fund, the National Youth Advisory Group will provide challenge and guidance to Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government on youth arts policy.

Over the next two years they will be working with the Creative Scotland National Time To Shine Working Group and conducting research with their peers and stakeholders. The group will publish their research and a recommendations report in August 2018. They will also be organising events and promoting youth arts in Scotland.

The two initiatives form part of the Scottish Government’s Time to Shine youth arts strategy, which seeks to change the way the arts is viewed and help Scotland become an international leader in young people’s creativity.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop, said: “Through our National Youth Strategy, Time to Shine, we are enabling young people across Scotland to access and participate in the arts.  The Nurturing Talent Fund has already supported hundreds of young people to take forward animation, theatre, music, fashion and design projects. Continuing the fund this year will help us build on this success.

“As we count down to the Year of Young People in 2018, we remain committed to ensuring that young people’s voices are heard in shaping the future of the arts in Scotland.”

Colin Bradie, TTS Programme Manager at Creative Scotland said: “Creative Scotland is delighted to be working in partnership with Young Scot and the National Youth Arts Advisory Group to deliver the Nurturing Talent Fund for Scotland’s young and aspiring artists. Since the launch of Time to Shine the Nurturing Talent Fund has provided over £39,000 worth of grants to over 150 young people and has had a real impact on the progression of ideas, projects and careers. We are confident this next cycle of the fund will have the same impact, acting as a mechanism to nurture ambition, enthusiasm and talent.”

Louise Macdonald, Young Scot’s Chief Executive, said: “Young people have told us that arts and culture play an important role in their lives and Young Scot is delighted to support their passion. Getting involved with the arts can build confidence and provide an opportunity to learn new skills and gain valuable life experiences so we’re delighted young people will play a crucial part in leading the future of the arts in Scotland.”

To apply for funding please visit

The deadlines for applications are:

  • 3 July 2017
  • 28 August 2017
  • 9 October 2017


For further information, media interviews or images please contact Shaun Bell or Tara D’Agostino at Stripe Communications on 0131 561 8628 or email

Notes to Editors

About Young Scot:Young Scot is the national youth information and citizenship agency for Scotland, and currently has a membership of over 680,000 young people across Scotland.

Young Scot provides all young people in Scotland aged 11-26 with information, ideas and incentives to enable them to make informed decisions and choices, turn their ideas into action and take advantage of opportunities available throughout Scotland and Europe. – The national youth information portal for Scotland - Young Scot’s corporate website

Time to Shine

Published on 8 November 2013, Scotland's first national youth arts strategy, Time to Shine – which is centred around the three key themes of creating and sustaining engagement; nurturing potential and talent; and developing infrastructure and support - sets out a vision and key recommendations to enable Scotland’s children and young people to flourish and achieve, in and through the arts and creativity. Follow the latest from Time To Shine @TTSYoutharts.

Nurturing Talent Fund

The nurturing talent fund will provide £40,000 in funding split over the next two years. The first three deadlines for applications are 3rd Jul 2017, 28th Aug 2017 and 9th Oct 2017. Further funding rounds will be announced in due course.

The previous round of the Nurturing Talent Fund provided £39,000 of grants to creative projects. Previous recipients of the grants include a rapper from Renfrewshire, a comic book artist, traditional Scottish musicians and comedy workshops for young offenders.

A full list of previous recipients is available on request from Young Scot.

Creative Scotland

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. It does this through funding, development, advocacy and influence and distributes funding from the Scottish Government and the National Lottery.

Creative Scotland wants Scotland to be a country where excellence and experimentation across the arts, screen and creative industries is recognised and valued; everyone can access and enjoy artistic and creative experiences; places and quality of life are transformed through imagination, ambition and an understanding of the potential of creativity; ideas are brought to life by a diverse, skilled and connected leadership and workforce; Scotland is a distinctive creative nation connected to the world. Follow Creative Scotland at @creativescots and

National Youth Arts Advisory Group

Applications for the National Youth Arts Advisory Group (NYAAG) closed last month. Applicants were sought from across Scotland and those with a wide range of experience. The new National Youth Arts Advisory Group will be announced following a final recruitment and training day.