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Thanks a billion to National Lottery players

Published: 09 Mar 2021

A man stands in a bright room looking down at an iPhone - image represents Scottish Youth Theatre

Image: Scottish Youth Theatre Credit: Tommy Ga Ken Wan

Scottish Youth Theatre is among thousands of good causes throughout the UK to share in more than £1 billion awarded by the National Lottery during the last year to support people and projects cope with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

As the first anniversary of lockdown approaches, new figures revealed today show that over £1.2 billion of good causes funding has been awarded by The National Lottery in the UK during the last year, providing a much-needed boost for the arts, heritage, sport and community/charity sector. The funding has helped protect the future for thousands of organisations across the UK during the last year.

Glasgow-based Scottish Youth Theatre was awarded National Lottery funding through an Open Fund award of almost £50,000 from Creative Scotland last year.

The money has been used to expand their digital presence across the whole of Scotland, providing many young people who needed somewhere to turn to with a crucial outlet of creative support during the pandemic.

The funding has enabled them to run their first ever digital festival – called Making Space – and Jacky Hardacre, Chief Executive at Scottish Youth Theatre, thanked National Lottery players for enhancing their reach and handing young people a vital lifeline during these challenging times.

Jacky said: “National Lottery players’ contribution really makes a difference. The theatre industry has been hit really hard, and we’re working with young people who want to follow a creative career.

“What I hope we’ve continued to do is give them some optimism and a pathway into the industry so they can shape it in future. And how good is that? National Lottery funding, through our Creative Scotland grant, has certainly been a big part of what we’ve done. It’s funded a programme of activity for six months of the financial year.

“The work that we do is very much about young artists making their own work. It’s not a traditional youth theatre model of choosing a play and directing young people what to do – it’s young artists having a platform to create performance work that is focused on things that matter to them and giving them a voice.”

Scottish Youth Theatre is one of thousands of projects nationwide to have benefited from the £30 million raised by National Lottery players every week.

The £1.2 billion awarded by The National Lottery in the last year has gone towards thousands of initiatives and programmes designed to tackle loneliness and isolation, provide support for the elderly and vulnerable young people, and those promoting physical and mental health in the community.

Scottish Youth Theatre is currently working with 21 young artists across Scotland ahead of the Making Space festival, which will last for three days and break new digital ground for the company.

The theatre has become increasingly adept at using online methods to communicate and, thanks to the support of Creative Scotland funding, has expanded its reach across the whole nation.

It's laid the foundations for a brighter future and Jacky, who is based in South Aberdeenshire, admits lockdown has transformed the way the theatre operates.

“We’ll continue with the digital work with young people who might normally struggle to access this kind of support,” Jacky added.

“We can still deliver that digitally. Everybody wants to get back in a room together – that’s what making theatre is about – but we want to really continue to make the most of digital learning and reach out as far as we can across the country.

“National Lottery funding has enabled us to develop our company priorities, work digitally and reach further across the whole of Scotland.”

The Open Fund awards allocate National Lottery and Scottish Government funding.

These funds are supporting creative people, projects and organisations across Scotland to adapt and respond to the current changing circumstances brought about by Covid-19 and helping to sustain creative development at this challenging time.

A full list of recipients of Open Fund awards is available on the Creative Scotland website.

The fund has no deadlines, and full eligibility criteria and application guidance can be found on the Creative Scotland website.

To find out more about how The National Lottery supports good causes throughout the UK, visit www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk