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Highland Life / News / Highland Council News / Creative Scotland CEO announces £500k boost for Highland arts programme

Creative Scotland CEO announces £500k boost for Highland arts programme

Issued: 7 May 2010

Andrew Dixon, Chief Executive Designate of Creative Scotland, has today announced that music, dance, literature and drama are among six creative disciplines to benefit from £500,000 funding this year for their development in the Highlands. Crafts and visual arts are also in line for a share of the support recommended by the Highland Cultural Strategic Board.

Supporting this recommendation, Creative Scotland, which will be the new national development body for the arts, culture and creative industries will invest £300,000 from its £5m Innovation Fund, with an additional £100,000 coming each from The Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE).

Andrew Dixon, CEO Designate of Creative Scotland, made the announcement while attending the 6th Ullapool Book Festival in the Highlands, "I am delighted to announce this investment in the Highlands and our partnership with The Highland Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise. The Highland Arts Programme is geared towards partnership working among creative organisations throughout the region to support and invest in the creativity of artists in the Highlands."

Culture Minister, Fiona Hyslop, welcomed the initiative, saying: "This investment for the Highlands is an excellent example of how Creative Scotland can bring support to the sector through working collaboratively with partners and through an innovative and inclusive approach. The Highland Arts Programme will support a range of art forms and the overall programme will contribute to promoting the Highlands' vibrant cultural talent both at home and abroad."

The Highland Council's Convenor and Chair of the Highland Culture Strategic Board, Sandy Park, said:

"Building on previous successful partnerships between local and national agencies, the work of the Highland Culture Strategic Board seeks to maximise on its collective investment into cultural activity in the Highlands. I am delighted that by working with Creative Scotland and HIE, this new fund will enable targeted investment in our shared cultural priorities for the region."

A strong creative industries sector is fundamentally important to a successful economy according to Charlotte Wright, HIE's regional director for the Highland area: "The Highlands' wealth of creative talent plays an important part in supporting numerous threads of its economy. HIE is looking forward to working with its partners to further support and promote the work of those involved in the sector through this programme."

The seven strand programme, which includes a marketing and evaluation element, will be known as the Highland Arts Programme - Prògram Ealain na Gàidhealtachd.

Specifically the Highland Arts Programme will suppor:

* Theatre: Eden Court in partnership with Scottish Theatre Consortium will commission a touring theatre production that originates in the Highlands (£85,000).

* Literature: Will give opportunities for Highland based writers, readers, publishers and promoters to create new initiatives that contribute to an exciting programme of Literature and Literacy development that builds upon the existing work of HI-Arts and the Highland Council Library Service (£50,000).

* Visual Arts: Alongside the creation of a Highland public arts strategy, The Highland Council Exhibitions Unit, in partnership with Inverness Old Town Art, will offer six new commissions presenting art in new locations and developing new audiences (£75,000).

* Crafts: HI-Arts will devise a mentoring programme for craft makers, establish relationships with craft retailers throughout the UK and develop a unified brand for the industry in the Highlands (£50,000).

* Music: Fèisean nan Gàidheal, HIE and Go Events will offer bursaries to showcase Highland bands and individual musicians nationally and internationally. The partnership will strive to attract audiences and promoters to the Highlands through showcasing the successful traditional and contemporary music scenes of the region (£75,000).

* Dance: Building on the existing BodyCurrents project, Eden Court Theatre and The Highland Council will finalise and present a dance strategy for the Highlands (£85,000).

* Marketing and Evaluation: the Highland Culture Project Team will co-ordinate a marketing and communications strategy to support the work undertaken throughout the cultural sector in the Highlands (£80,000).

For more information on the Highland Arts Programme contact:

Fiona Hampton, The Highland Council, 01463 702046 or email fiona.hampton@highland.gov.uk

© 2010 Highland Public Services Partnership.
Project part-financed by the European Union (European Regional Development Fund) within the INTERREG IIIB Northern Periphery Programme