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CashBack for Creativity Open Fund: £324k awarded to arts projects

Published: 24 Jun 2019

The CashBack for Creativity Open Fund, administered by YouthLink Scotland through delivery partner, Creative Scotland and funded by Scottish Government has awarded a total of £324,000 to 45 community-based arts project across the country, which will reach over 4,927 young people in local communities.

The fund offers a fantastic chance for young people to access a range of high-quality arts, screen and creative industries activities. The programme targets children and young people in communities and areas where there is currently a lack of opportunity.

CashBack for Communities is a unique Scottish Government programme which takes money seized from criminals under the proceeds of crime legislation and invests them in our future – our young people. Since 2008, £110 million has been committed to community initiatives to improve the quality of life of young people right across Scotland.

#CashBackCreates - A creative new social media campaign

This year as part of the campaign to raise awareness of Cashback for Communities and how creative young Scots are, projects all over Scotland invite the public to get involved in a journey of artistic discovery and to share their finds through selfies on social media.

Artwork or installations created by young people will be left in popular places in local communities across Scotland for people to discover. Want to become an art sleuth? You can find out more about the campaign at youthlinkscotland.org/CashBackCreates.

Follow all the action on the hashtag #CashBackCreates.

Jane Dailly, National Programmes Manager at YouthLink Scotland, The National Agency for Youth Work, said: “We know that young people are creating and involved with imaginative and fun projects and we would like to raise awareness of that across the country.  What better way to make someone else’s day and put a smile on their face than through the discovery of an awesome piece of locally created work.”

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf said: “This campaign is a great way to get communities involved in the creative arts and today’s investment further demonstrates the Scottish Government’s commitment to building a stronger, fairer and more inclusive society. Our Investment in the Cashback for Communities Programme has helped young people learn new skills, boost their confidence and reach their full potential in life.”

Laura Black, Arts Officer, CashBack for Creativity, Creative Scotland, commented: “The 45 inspiring projects announced today through the CashBack for Creativity Open Fund are opening up access to a huge range of innovative and exciting projects for young people across Scotland.  With today’s launch of #CashBackCreates, we’re looking forward to sharing and bringing to life young people’s creative endeavours across the country.”

About the Open Fund projects

Projects funded in this round include:

Whale Arts, Edinburgh

This project will offer young people in Wester Hailes the opportunity to take part in a series of digital skills workshops. The workshops will focus on equipping young people with the skills required to create digital content for the Digital Sentinel, a community news website for the Wester Hailes area. Sessions will cover video, podcasts, and techniques for conducting interviews.

Four follow up workshops will introduce the participants to virtual and artificial reality technology. The young people will be supported beyond the workshops to form a ‘WHALE Digital Future Leaders Group’, which will shape the future programme of creative technology activity at WHALE and produce an end of year showcase event.

Scottish Youth Film Festival, South Ayrshire

This project will support the South Ayrshire's Champions board – which exists to give young people who have been looked after a voice and to use their care experience to create positive change – in creating two films. One will be focused on the participants’ experience in care, while the other will be devised and determined by the group itself.

The first stage of the project is a residential weekend where the young people will be supported to generate ideas and stories which can then be turned into scripts. The young people will then develop these ideas, write the scripts and prepare the shoot. Each shoot will last for four days and will include a preparation day along with three full shoot days. Films will be shown locally and showcased at the Scottish Youth Film Festival 2019.

The Village Storytelling Centre, Glasgow South

Inspired by BBC The Social, 40 young People will take part in ‘More Than’, a story-led, cross arts programme where they will create a series of short films. The programme will work with young people who feel labelled and give them the opportunity to show that they are ‘More Than’ the label that has impressed upon them.

Working alongside a professional storyteller and participatory artists from a range of other disciplines, they will use applied storytelling practices to explore their own narrative, examining what makes them who they are, their opinions and the stories they wish to tell, unbound by the challenges that have brought them together.

The resulting films will be devised and created entirely by the young people. Each will be premiered at a series of small community events, curated and hosted by the young people.

Youth Connections, Inverclyde

The ‘Connect Art Project’ will support young people from two areas of Inverclyde to portray, in mural form, the positives of their local communities. The idea for the project comes from young people themselves and will involve the use of recycled glass and discarded textiles.

The end results promise to be vibrant, enthusiastic depictions of the communities they live in, countering the negative messages associated with their communities. The project will also include drama workshops to generate ideas for the murals


‘Creative, Confident, Connected’ is a pilot project which will establish the first Youth Advisory Panel in Argyll. The young people involved will be supported to define and produce a new, sustainable youth arts programme for the area.

Young people will be supported to study best-practice in youth arts programming, explore the methods of artistic practices as models for lifelong learning; facilitate public discussions and make links with existing peer networks. As part of the process, the young people involved will work towards achieving Bronze and Silver Arts Awards.

Lyth Arts Centre LTD

‘Lyth Arts Centre Young Company’ is an innovative project offering ten months of in-depth training for aspiring performers, directors, technicians and writers interested in the world of professional theatre. Sessions will involve: opportunities to make, watch and learn more about theatre through masterclasses and free tickets; production opportunities including a devised show involving every member of the Young Company; and mentoring from Lyth Arts Centre staff.

The programme of activity and work created by the young people will form part of the annual programme at the arts centre, including the Lyth Family Festival and Summer and Winter Exhibitions.

Find out more about all the projects below.

CashBack Open Fund Projects

Read and download information about the projects in .PDF format.