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The latest stories from Inspiring Scotland and our partner charities.

Successful organisations announced for Inspiring Scotland Creative Communities programme

Successful organisations announced for Inspiring Scotland Creative Communities programme


Nearly 40 organisations around Scotland have been announced as recipients of funding from Inspiring Scotland’s new Creative Communities Programme, which will support the development of grassroots creative and cultural initiatives.

Creative writing, open air galleries, street art, family dance and drama performances are just some of the projects being supported by the £900,000 programme, which is being delivered by Inspiring Scotland on behalf of Scottish Government.

The programme will support 27 community-based charities working with communities where social or geographical circumstances make engaging with culture more challenging. A further 10 community organisations will be supported to progress ideas to the point where they can be more fully funded over the course of a second year.

The announcement of the successful organisations selected was marked by virtual visits from Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf to Aberdeenshire based organisation Station House Media Unit, and Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture, Fiona Hyslop, to Greenock based Youth Connections, where they heard more about the projects. 

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“We recognise just how vital culture is to the future prosperity of communities across Scotland, particularly in light of the challenges posed by COVID-19. Our vision for culture in Scotland is that the transformative potential of culture is experienced by everyone.

“The Creative Communities Programme will help to realise that vision. It is focused on community-led initiatives and on creating more opportunities within communities where getting involved in culture is not always as accessible as it should be.”

Cabinet Secretary for Justice, Humza Yousaf said:

“I was delighted to talk with project workers and participants at Station House Media Unit.

“The Creative Communities Programme will provide an exciting range of creative projects to engage and inspire people.

“In these challenging times it is more important than ever that we harness the power of cultural and creative outlets to provide positive and enriching opportunities to benefit individuals and communities.”

Celia Tennant Inspiring Scotland said:

“Creative Communities celebrates the power of culture to connect, inspire and transform people’s lives. Through this programme we look forward to helping more people and communities across the country explore and develop their own sense of culture. 

“The overwhelming demand for this programme demonstrated not just the desire for this type of investment, but the need to now, more than ever, help communities come together safely, connect and boost their wellbeing, by getting involved in local cultural activity.”

Executive Officer Alex Stevens of Greenock based, Youth Connection said:

“Working collaboratively with key organisations, we carried out a consultation with a wide range of local people from diverse backgrounds to survey their needs, with a view to providing arts participation services, whilst targeting resources in those areas of greatest need.

“Power to Change will provide free access to cultural and art activity to people who are recognised as living amongst some of the poorest communities in Inverclyde. We are delighted that the creative communities funding will create much needed cultural activity in the local area.”

Murray Dawson, Chief Executive of Aberdeen based, Station House Media Unit said:

“shmu is delighted to receive this funding from Inspiring Scotland Creative Communities. Create-Express-Transform will offer exciting creative opportunities for adults with barriers to cultural engagement. The project will enhance our support for adult volunteers at shmu, create new and innovative courses in HMP Grampian and bring together other key community justice organisations in Aberdeen; Aberdeen in Recovery, Families Outside, Aberdeen Cyrenians and Turning Point Scotland.

“This funding with empower, inspire and support individuals and communities to express themselves in a creative and powerful way through a medium of their choice. This is brilliant news to come at the end of a difficult year for us all and we can’t wait to get creating with our communities!”

The communities selected to participate in this year’s programme extend across 20 local authority areas, and will support individuals and communities whose circumstances make engaging with culture more challenging including; care experienced young people, refugees and asylum seekers and people with mental illness receiving care in hospital.

Six organisations will deliver projects directly focused on supporting justice-experienced communities, including inmates at Polmont YOI, young people in secure and close support care, and adult offenders post release from prison.

Click here for a full list of funded organisations.

Connect and stay up to date with Creative Communities and Inspiring Scotland on Twitter @IScreativecomm and @InspiringSland



Inspiring Scotland will deliver Creative Communities programme providing support to successful organisations and working with the Scottish Government to achieve the ambition of the Culture Strategy for Scotland.

The programme was heavily oversubscribed, receiving 185 applications, amounting to £4.5m in requests.  In response to this, Scottish Government was able to increase funding by 50%.

The programme has been developed to deliver key aspects of the new Culture Strategy for Scotland and is jointly funded by the Scottish Government through the Culture, Tourism and Major Events Directorate and the Justice Directorate.

Although no predetermined outcomes are set, it is anticipated that funded projects will work to improve mental wellbeing and reduce loneliness, as well as encouraging diversion from criminal behaviour and involvement with the criminal justice system.

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