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£945k National Lottery cash boost kicks off the new year

Published: 10 Jan 2019

The year has gotten off to a flying start for 143 arts, sports and community groups across Scotland, thanks to a New Year National Lottery cash boost totalling £945,298.

The funding comes from National Lottery Awards for All Scotland – a quick and simple way to access small National Lottery grants of between £500 and £10,000.

"We are delighted to announce support for another fantastic group of creative projects," said Gary Cameron, Head of Place, Partnerships and Communities. "Arts and culture makes such a positive contribution to our wellbeing and these projects again highlight the creativity of communities across Scotland."

Here's a look at some of the creative projects...

Highlands and Islands Music and Dance Festival

The Chair Breege Smyth with performers at the launch of the 2018 HIMDF

Highlands & Islands Music & Dance Festival in Argyll and Bute will use the funding to support their annual festival whilst expanding to hold a separate mini-festival in Oban, involving people from across the Highlands and Islands.

The festival promotes the area's long tradition in music and dance. Organised by volunteers, the event has attracted over thousands of visitors to the town - a welcome boost to the local economy. Over the years, support from local businesses and National Lottery funding has given young people the opportunity to compete to the highest level, potentially going on to make careers from their musical abilities and passion.

Chairperson Breege Smyth told us “The Festival has retained a unique family feel that is the hallmark of true Highland hospitality, despite the competitive nature of the programme. Each year I am delighted that our funders and the businesses of Oban share our passion and are generous in support – particularly as we have been going for 35 years!”

SAM (Scottish Autistic Media) Radio

SAM Radio presenter

SAM (Scottish Autistic Media) Radio - a popular internet radio station in Edinburgh, produced and broadcast by adults on the Autistic Spectrum, will use funding to continue to broadcast the radio show which provides people with new production and presenting skills and opportunities to make new friends.

Presenter Joseph Cox said, “This award will make sure our 23 presenters can produce and broadcast a one hour radio show every week. This will give them a range of practical skills which will help them to gain college or university placements in the media and creative industries. Our presenters not only face a lack of job opportunities but are inexperienced in social communication skills and often find it hard to make friends. It’s been great for people to meet up here, learn new skills and form new friendships.”

Lochgelly Youth

Lochgelly Youth performing Jack and the Beanstalk

At the end of 2018, Lochgelly Youth in Fife delivered three performances of the pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk at the Lochgelly Centre, with around 50 young people from across Fife involved in all aspects of the production. "The money granted really helped with our pantomime," says Emily Juner, "and will continue to help future productions!"

Stand Easy

Stand Easy - Dundee and Stirling Veterans at the Macrobert Arts Centre

Stand Easy in Dundee will use drama and theatre skills as a tool to support veterans with PTSD. Veterans will explore issues such as survivor’s guilt, drug and alcohol addiction, violence, family breakdown, and the pressure of adjusting to civilian life. Workshops will take place in Dundee and the veterans will works towards a performance at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

"These are not people who will sit back and do nothing with their lives," says Alan from Stand Easy, "they are people who have served in the Forces in the past and want to continue to serve the community in the future. Performing this play is one way they feel they can do this positively."

West of Scotland Pipe Championships

Pipe band competing at championships

Bicentenary Pipe Band Championships in Argyll and Bute will use the funding to host the West of Scotland Pipe Championships on Sunday 23 June 2019, in Helensburgh.

The Bicentenary Pipe Band Championships (BPBC) began in 2002 and have been held every year since. Both the local community and the pipe band world in general have benefited greatly from the event, which has seen in increase in participation in pipe bands and local dancing schools, whilst bringing traditional Scottish music and dance to the local community. Hosting the Glasgow and West of Scotland Pipe Band Championships will further raise the profile of the event.

Chair and Convenor, Colina Helen Campbell said ''Having been on the BPBC for 20 years I believe it is due to the commitment of our voluntary members and the increased prestige of the BPBC that the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association (RSPBA) have awarded us the Glasgow and West of Scotland Pipe Band Championships for 2019, and we are immensely proud of this achievement.

"However, it is only because we have been awarded this grant from the National Lottery that we can afford to run this additional event which is already having an impact on the local community, with ever increasing interest being shown from both the public and local businesses".

World Spirit Forum Theatre

World Spirit Theatre - warm up game

World Spirit Forum Theatre will deliver a community play about the asylum process, in partnership with the Citizens Theatre in Glasgow. Using theatre as a tool to engage audiences, the group will raise awareness amongst communities to help break down barriers.

Pinar Aksu said "We produce community theatre that explores integration and the asylum process from the perspective of those with direct experience, as well as celebrating the contribution that asylum seekers and refugees make to Scottish communities. Our current play and project is called 'Where are you really from?" - exploring identity, culture, labels and stories of migration. We are glad to continue our work with our current funding".

World Spirit Forum Theatre - photo by Karen Gordon

Other projects supported by Creative Scotland's participation in the National Lottery Awards for All Scotland include Glasgow Film Theatre who will deliver an intergenerational archive film project for the community of Maryhill, and The Glasgow Barons who will deliver continuous eight-week music workshops in Govan.

A National Lottery Awards for All Scotland spokesperson said: “This is National Lottery money making a real impact in communities across the country. The 143 groups receiving funding today showcase the range of projects that can be funded through this programme and the difference that the smallest amounts of money can make. We wish them all the best for the year ahead as they begin to put their plans into action.”

See the full announcement and details of the 143 projects on the Big Lottery Fund website.

National Lottery Awards for All Scotland is a joint awards programme from the Big Lottery Fund, Creative Scotland and sportscotland. It makes grants to help people take part in arts, sport, social, environmental, health related, educational and other community activities, and welcomes applications and focuses on funding smaller organisations with an annual turnover of less than £250k (except for schools).

The fund is now more straightforward to apply to and faster to get funding from. Applications are received on a rolling basis and can be received at any time.

For more info contact Big Lottery Fund Media Team: 0141 242 1451