£1.2m support for cultural activity across Scotland

Published: 30 Apr 2018

£1.2million of Creative Scotland Open Project Funding has been awarded to 44 recipients, including individual artists, musicians, writers, theatre makers, festivals and organisations working across the arts, screen and creative industries. Over £1.1million of these awards has been awarded through National Lottery Funding, with awards ranging from £1,094 to £150,000.

This round of funding represents a fantastic range of creative practice in communities across Scotland, from the Lyth Arts Centre in Caithness, sruth-mara on Lewis, The Borders Book Festival in Melrose and Tiree Music Festival.- Claire Byers, Interim Director, Arts & Engagement

Projects and individuals receiving funding in March 2018 include:


Caithness-based Lyth Arts Centre, Scotland's most northerly mainland arts centre, has received funding to present its 2018-19 public programme. The programme will include theatre, music, dance, outdoor arts, film and digital arts, supporting Lyth Arts Centre in its development as a regional cultural hub for Caithness.

Ceol’s Craic, the social hub for contemporary Gaelic culture in Glasgow has received funding towards its 2018-19 cultural programme at Glasgow’s CCA.

Tom Barnes, Co-Director, Lyth Arts Centre said: "We are delighted to receive open-project funding from Creative Scotland to bring cutting edge theatre, music, dance and much more to Caithness. Lyth Arts Centre is moving into a new period of growth, creatively broadening the programme we present and attracting new audiences. Creative Scotland is a pivotal partner for us on this journey."

Visual Arts

Stirling-based Artlink Central have received funding to present The Lines of Attraction: Schiehallion, contours and communities. The project seeks to widen access and connections to Schiehallion and its surrounds and to explore the cultural potential of the mountain, building into the visitor experience a greater sense of place, curiosity and welcome.


Glasgow-based curator Shireen Taylor has received funding to stage a solo exhibition by artist Douglas Morland entitled For Mathew and to support the continued development of her long-running curatorial project The Hidden Noise (initiated in 2012). The exhibition will take place in the Mitchell Library in Glasgow City Centre and is part of the programme for Glasgow International (GI) Festival of Visual Art (19 April – 7 May 2018).

Hidden Noise

The Grampian Hospitals Art Trust have received funding to present a 12-month contemporary arts programme by commissioning artists to make new work for exhibition in The Suttie Arts Space (TSAS). As well as exhibitions, the programme will include a series of public events, publications, and professional training opportunities.


Among the literature awards, The Borders Book Festival, 14-17 June, and Booked!, 8-19 May, West Dunbartonshire's annual celebration of the written and spoken word have received funding towards their 2018 programmes.

Borders Book Festival 2017

Edinburgh-based Charco Press have received funding to deliver the first part of its 2018 publishing programme consisting of three books by contemporary award-winning Latin American authors who have never before been published in English.

Cartoonist and artist Kate Charlesworth has received funding to supportthe development of a new graphic novel.


The Tiree Music Festival, 13-15 July, have received funding to support Elevate, a brand-new stage to celebrate The Year of Young People 2018. Elevate will provide a platform for young and emerging artists in partnership with organisations such as Hands up for Trad and Live Music Now.

The Kinnaris Quintet featuring Fiona MacAskill (fiddle), Laura Wilkie (fiddle), Aileen (Reid) Gobbi (5 string fiddle), Laura-Beth Salter (mandolin) and Jenn Butterworth (guitar) have received funding to record their debut album.

Kinnaris Quartet

Glasgow-based music charity Good Vibrations has received funding to work with the Spirit of Hope gamelan orchestra on the Resonate project, helping communities with different abilities and needs to integrate more closely through shared creative experiences.

Daniel Gillespie, Managing Director, Tiree Music Festival said: “TMF has always been a great platform for showcasing emerging artists and talent but the launch of the Elevate Stage for TMF2018 takes this to a new level. We are delighted to receive support from Creative Scotland along with our other key partners to help not only showcase the very best of Scottish talent but also provide career opportunities to those young people looking to get involved in the events and creative industry."


Ceramic artists Susan O’Byrne, Livia Marin and Jonathan Wade have received funding towards research and development for an exhibition of contemporary Scottish ceramics and discussion panel at the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts conference in Minneapolis, March 2019. The project informs the development work to build an international audience for Scottish-based artists, encourage exchange between Scottish and US contemporary ceramic institutions and open up and sustain links with the US art community.


The Graphic Design Festival Scotland, 19-25 October 2018, has received funding to deliver Young & Powerful, a national competition giving young people (ages 8–26) the opportunity to express their opinions and inspire their peer group through design.

Independent creative producer Siôn Parkinson has received funding to support Factory Shop, providing product development and public exhibition opportunities for three designers / design teams who were selected for Dundee Design Festival’s first Factory Residency Programme, launched in May 2017. Factory Shop, will show for the first time the prototypes and products made in factories by designers Dawn Youll, Florence Dwyer, and Tommy Perman & Simon Kirby.


Among the theatre awards, sruth-mara (Gaelic for 'sea current'),a new arts organisation based in Uig on the Isle of Lewis have received funding to support its inaugural programme. The organisation’s aim is to develop high quality artistic projects from Uig, with potential nationwide and international appeal alongside strong community involvement.

Aerial Edge Artists have received funding towards Braw Circus, a two-day festival held at Platform in Easterhouse celebrating contemporary Scottish circus. Developed in consultation with Scottish circus makers including All or Nothing, The Production Shed (Lauren Hendry and Arron Sparks) and Ellie Dubois, this year’s programme will mark 250 years of circus in the UK.

Aerial Edge

Nicola Lawton, Aerial Edge said: “Aerial Edge Artists are delighted to be awarded funding for this vital project which will help to grow the contemporary circus scene in Scotland and give much needed support and a platform to both established circus makers and emerging circus artists in Scotland. We’re excited to showcase some of the best talent Scotland has to offer in Contemporary circus as well as raise the profile of the art form in the hopes of attracting more opportunities for Scottish based artists.”


Emerging Choreographer Julia James-Griffiths has received funding towards the premiere of The Box; a new contemporary dance theatre piece. The Box is a contemporary dance theatre piece that explores the impact depression can have on an individual, and how our society responds to it; in a way that is innovative, creative, yet accessible. The work will premiere at Assembly Roxy as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival in May 2018.

Julia James-Griffiths

Dancer Sari Lievonen has received funding to support Touch of Tango, a professional development and research project which will include learning new skills to be able to work with people with Parkinson’s and with older people who might have mental or physical limitations in coming along to dance classes. Sari will then lead two pilot projects in Greater Glasgow area, exploring new possibilities for teaching the Social Argentine Tango increasing accessible for those unable to attend mainstream classes.

Sari Lievonen, Touch of Tango

Claire Byers, Interim Director, Arts and Engagement at Creative Scotland said: “This round of Open Project Funding represents a fantastic range of creative practice in communities across Scotland, from the Lyth Arts Centre in Caithness, to sruth-mara on Lewis, The Borders Book Festival in Melrose and our support for young and emerging musicians at this year’s Tiree Music Festival.

“With support from The National Lottery, Open Project Funding enables artists to develop their creative practice and organisations to connect with communities, enriching Scotland’s reputation as a distinctive creative nation and increasing access to the arts, screen and creative industries for everyone regardless of their background.

“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 demonstrates what is possible through Open Project Funding. We look forward to seeing their work develop as a result.”


Open Project Funding Awards March 2018

View the Open Project Funding Awards made in March 2018, in Excel format.

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).

See more details of the Open Project Fund and all other Creative Scotland funding.

Please note the funding awards listed above 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.

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. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life.  We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and the National Lottery. For further information about Creative Scotland please visit www.creativescotland.com.  Follow us @creativescots and www.facebook.com/CreativeScotland

Creativity Matters

The arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland deliver real benefits and make a real difference to all our lives regardless of who we are or where we live.

Film, theatre, literature, dance, music, visual art, video games, craft, and the commercial creative industries all contribute to a flourishing society, to our education and learning and to our skills, jobs and economy.

Public funding for the arts, screen and creative industries, through both the Scottish Government and through the National Lottery, helps make life better in Scotland - better for us all as individuals, as communities and as a nation.

As we say in our 10-year plan Unlocking Potential, Embracing Ambition we want Scotland to be a place where the arts, screen and creative industries are valued and recognised, where artists and creative people can flourish and thrive, and where everyone, everywhere, is interested and curious about creativity.

Read more about why we think Creativity Matters.

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