New funding from Government and the Lottery add up to a windfall for Scotland?s arts
Funding totalling £19.5m has been announced to support film, emerging talent, new buildings and sponsorship development across Scotland. The Scottish Government has granted new support towards promoting Scottish-based work at the Edinburgh Festivals and £600,000 to encourage private sector investment in the arts in Scotland. Other announcements come from the UK Film Council, with a deal over three years for the Edinburgh International Film Festival (EIFF), and support for four new arts buildings from the Scottish Arts Council (SAC).
[[The largest of the four deals is a £6m, three-year agreement for the Edinburgh Festival Expo Fund]]
The largest of the four deals comes in the form of a £6m, three-year agreement for the ‘Edinburgh Festival Expo Fund’, a manifesto commitment by the Scottish Government (see AP144). The money will support new productions, events and exhibitions involving Scottish-based participants which have their first performance at any of the Edinburgh Festivals. The money will also support the touring of such shows after their premières, thereby bringing the work to new audiences. Culture Minister Linda Fabiani said that 11 of Edinburgh’s Festivals had already bid for the Expo Fund, and that successful bids would be announced in the run-up to the programme this summer. £1.3m of the money, which will be administered by the SAC, will be available for allocation in 2008/09.
Fabiani has also announced a grant of £600,000 to Arts & Business Scotland, to secure the future of the New Arts Sponsorship Awards, launched in 2006, for the next two years. The awards operate on a ‘double your money’ basis, rewarding new sponsorship deals and encouraging businesses to engage with the arts. The grant has come at a time when Arts & Business has completely cut its incentive scheme in England following the Arts Council England spending review. Fabiani said that the Scottish scheme “has encouraged businesses with no previous experience of arts sponsorship, to get involved and reap the rewards – I strongly believe these partnerships must continue”.
EIFF is celebrating a new award from the UK Film Council. £1.88m in Lottery funding will be made available to EIFF over three years, supporting its change of date from August to July and enabling it to develop its work with new and emerging film talent. EIFF Artistic Director, Hannah McGill, said, “The Film Council’s Film Festival Strategy has recognised EIFF’s national and international significance and our potential to grow,” adding that the Festival would be seeking to make a bigger impact both in the UK and internationally.
Further Lottery funding, this time via the SAC, will enable the establishment of four new arts buildings in Shetland, Greenock, Aberdeen and Edinburgh. Over £11m will be shared between the projects, including £4m towards the Union Terrace Gardens development in Aberdeen (see AP165). The Greenock Arts Guild in Inverclyde receives £2.6m to replace its existing buildings with a modern theatre and arts centre in the harbour area. Purpose-built open-access sculpture facilities will be created alongside the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop’s site in Leith, supported with over £2.3m. Finally, £2.12m will enable the development of Mareel, a new cinema and music venue in Lerwick, Shetland.