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£700,000 National Lottery support for cultural activity across Scotland

Published: 30 Aug 2017

34 Open Project Funding awards of between £1,075 and £120,000 made in July 2017.


£700,000 National Lottery funding through Creative Scotland’s Open Project Fund has been awarded to 34 recipients, including individual artists, musicians, a breakdancing crew, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries.

A cross section of projects and individuals receiving funding in July 2017 includes the following:


Alloa-based arts project Reachout with Arms in Mind has received funding to deliver Creative Communities, a year-long multi-artform expressive arts programme. The programme will promote inclusive practice, knowledge and learning to ensure that people experiencing mental ill health, learning and physical disabilities have active and influential roles in arts and culture, as leaders, participants and audiences.

Dumfries and Galloway-based multi-arts venue CatStrand has received funding to support its 2017-18 tenth anniversary arts programme. The programme will include visual arts, contemporary music, live theatre and filmmaking.

Simon Davidson, Creative Director, CatStrand said: “2017 sees the 10th Anniversary of CatStrand.The arts are so important to rurally remote areas and particularly in this corner of Dumfries & Galloway with a thinly but widely spread population. The arts are vital to health and wellbeing in such communities providing new shared experiences and bringing new perspectives on the world.

"The arts add considerably to the local economy in terms of increased visitors and continue to be cited as a reason that young families are moving to the area.  The CatStrand Arts project means that high quality performances, events and exhibitions can happen in the Glenkens and that artists can be properly remunerated for their work.  It allows us to put on a diverse programme ranging in scope from the internationally renowned to the locally blossoming and this has a huge impact on our growing community.”

Greenock-based Galoshans Festival (27-31 October 2017) has received funding towards this year’s programme. The Hallowe’en festival will include the commissioning of a range of local and national artists to collaborate with the public in venues throughout Greenock Town Centre.

Funding awarded to Eastgate Theatre and Arts Centre in Peebles is being used towards the programming of the Creative Peebles Festival 2017 (25 August- 3 September 2017). An annual event celebrating the wealth of creative work by artists in the Scottish borders, the festival features drama, music, dance, poetry, film, visual arts, walks, workshops and an outdoor participatory musical in the town centre.


Edinburgh-based publisher Birlinn has received funding to support the production of hardback editions of all Muriel Spark’s novels. Muriel Spark - The Centenary Editions will be published in 2018 as part of the Muriel Spark centenary year.

Argyll and Bute-based Cove and Kilcreggan Book Festival 2017 (25-26 November 2017) has received funding to support its programme which aims to bring authors and diverse reading to the local community, and to encourage new readers of all ages.

Poet Ryan Van Winkle has received funding to work with acclaimed contemporary Georgian poet Nene Giorgadze on translations of their respective works.


The Scottish Queer International Film Festival 2017 (27 September-1 October 2017) has received funding towards this year’s programme. The festival which provides a welcoming and inclusive space for LGBTQ+ audiences, promotes the work of local and international queer filmmakers. This year’s festival will include screenings in communities across Scotland.  


Scottish breakdancing crew Flyin’ Jalapenos has received funding to host their 15th anniversary celebration including a weekend of events showcasing their work and highlighting the Scottish hip-hop scene. Dance battle competitions featuring local and international dancers from UK, Europe and Canada, will fun alongside workshops and a panel discussions, as well as DJs and live musical performances from international and homegrown hip-hop artists.

Dancer and choreographer Julia James-Griffiths has received funding to support the production of contemporary dance piece The Box/1 in 4 which explores the impact depression can have on an individual, and how society responds to it. The project will also offer free Mind to Move workshops for those with experience of mental health issues.


Eigg-based Lost Map Records have received funding to deliver Lost Map’s Visitations, a new series of releases with material generated from artists taking part in a residency programme on the island.

Musician and composer Paul McGeechan has received funding to record Earth Bound a collection of songs and compositions, a combination of original works and new interpretations of traditional Gaelic song.

Funding awarded to Electric Voice Theatre will go towards Scottish Superwoman of Science - Minerva Scientifica, a music-theatre piece created in collaboration between women scientists and women composers.  

Indie-rock artist Inkfields and singer-songwriter Alex Rex both received funding to record new material.


Theatre-maker Mariem Omari has received funding towards One Mississippi, a new theatre work that explores the impact of traumatic childhood experiences in shaping male adult lives. The piece will premiere at the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival 2017 (10-29 October 2017).

Mariem Omari said: “Creative Scotland's support has given me the opportunity to collaborate further with a diverse group of creatives in Scotland to tell the ‘true stories’ of men who have been taken to breaking point.” 

Glas(s) theatre company has received funding to develop Old Boy, a piece of theatre that looks to explore male relationships across generations. Old Boy will be performed at Platform in Easterhouse in October 2017.

Visual Arts

Performance Artist Marvin Gaye Chetwynd has received funding towards the creation of new work including the production of a monograph.

Visual artist Lauren Gault has received funding to support the development of new work ahead of a solo exhibition in Belfast in Spring 2018.

Visual Artist Belinda Gilbert Scott has received funding to support Pauline and the Matches, an exhibition and performance event based on Heinrich Hoffman’s cautionary tales, bringing together nine multimedia artists and performers, Belinda Gilbert Scott, Sarah Kenchington, Mark Vernon, Ruby Pester, Nadia Rossi, Michael Stumpf, Rae-Yen Song, Michael Barr, and Jenny Brownrigg.

Claire Byers, Interim Director, Arts and Engagement, at Creative Scotland said: “We are delighted to have been able to support such a wide range of artistic practice throughout Scotland in July through Open Project Funding.

“From a celebration of breakdancing, extraordinary filmmaking at the Scottish Queer International Film Festival to artists and makers creating remarkable experiences for communities in the Scottish Borders and dancers and theatremakers exploring mental health. All these awards will enable audiences across Scotland the opportunity to engage with and be inspired by creative activities.

“While, as always, there are many more good applications than we have the funds to support, these latest awards do provide invaluable support to the successful applicants and we look forward to seeing their work develop as a result.” 

OPF July 2017

View the Open Project Funding Awards made in July 2017.

Notes to Editors

Open Project Funding is available to a wide range of organisations and individuals working across Scotland in the arts, screen and creative industries. It 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 2 years. Awards are made in the range £1,000 to £100,000 (or up to £150,000 by exception).

Details of the Open Project Fund and all other Creative Scotland funding can be found on our website.

Please note: the funding awards listed remain offers of funding until such time as all terms and conditions have been formally accepted and fulfilled by the award recipient. If an award recipient fails to accept any offer, the funding award will be withdrawn and credited to future Open Project Funding Panels.

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