Youth arts projects for the under 25s in Scotland are to receive £5m over the next two years.

Fiona Hyslop and Janet Archer with Scottish Book Trust Bookbug toddler reading group
Fiona Hyslop and Janet Archer with Scottish Book Trust Bookbug toddler reading group

Drew Farrell

Scotland’s first ever national youth strategy has set out a series of recommendations aimed at enabling Scotland’s young people to achieve in and through the arts. Creative Scotland’s ‘Time To Shine’ strategy is centred around the three themes of creating and sustaining engagement, nurturing talent, and developing infrastructure and support. £5m of new funding from the Scottish Government over the next two years will support initiatives that will deliver the key objectives of the strategy. The specific aims are to address inequalities and enable access for all; to nurture and celebrate ambition, enthusiasm and talent; and to create and develop infrastructure for the children and young people’s arts sector and ensure continuous quality improvement. The strategy includes proposals for an open fund for organisations to develop new routes for young people to access the arts; a new national digital platform; and the creation of a National Youth Advisory Group (NYAG) to advise on the implementation and development of plans.

The catalyst for the production of the strategy was a discussion paper in 2009 submitted to the Scottish Government by Scottish Youth Theatre, National Youth Orchestras of Scotland, YDance and the National Youth Choir of Scotland. Creative Scotland then led on developing a strategy for Scotland that would create a framework for collaborative working and the development of the arts for children and young people across all artforms. Chief Executive of Creative Scotland Janet Archer said: “Today’s launch of Time To Shine follows on the back of amazing work already taking place in youth arts in this country and the skills, dedication and energy of people of all ages involved throughout Scotland. Creative Scotland aims to ensure that this work continues and develops through the Time To Shine strategy.”

Elizabeth Hunt