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Scottish Government emergency funds for Glasgow youth arts

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Emergency funds from the Scottish Government through Creative Scotland are enabling youth arts and music organisations to roll out new activities and initiatives for young people in the Glasgow area.

Drake MusicNational Youth Choir of ScotlandNational Youth Orchestras of Scotland and Toonspeak Young Peoples Theatre are among 18 youth music and wider youth arts organisations receiving a share of £1,053,000 to deliver a range of local and national projects, all of which target priority groups of children and young people and provide important work for freelance artists.

Thursa SandersonChief ExecutiveDrake Music Scotland said: “We are delighted to have been offered an award of £61,880 for Sound Explorers, a new programme of online activity devised by Drake Music Scotland. It responds positively to the changed learning landscape for young people with additional support needs – offering an interactive and fun way to make music.

“It will directly tackle the lack of access to music making for young people with disabilities and additional support needs caused by the Covid pandemic removing the barriers for those isolating at home and those in the classroom.”

Edward Milner, Chief Executive, National Youth Choir of Scotland said: “This funding will support the recovery and renewal of our youth arts provision. Our ‘Loving Learning Through Music’ programme will use music to build fundamental numeracy and literacy skills and enthuse the learning of children, including those who are deaf or hearing impaired. Working in up to 10 primary schools in areas of multiple deprivation we aim to narrow the attainment gap, build teachers’ confidence in using music to support wider learning outcomes and provide vital work to freelance creative practitioners.”

Jack JohnsonDevelopment ManagerNational Youth Orchestras of Scotland said: ‘We work with over 600 of the most promising young musicians from across Scotland each year, and the NYOS Ambassadors programme provides paid work experience and training to recent graduates and alumni of the orchestra. This funding will support an expansion of this programme to help us reach more young people, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, providing the important first stepping-stones of a career in these challenging economic circumstances.’

Hazel WotherspoonChief ExecutiveToonspeak Young People’s Theatre said: “This funding from Creative Scotland will support us in delivering our post-Covid renewed programme which will see us, for the first time, delivering work fully for 0-25’s, creating new opportunities for progression and ensuring that young people, regardless of their needs, status or background, can be fully part of the vibrant creative culture of Scotland.”

Opportunities for young people are also being provided on a nationwide basis through other Fund recipients including Engage, Film Access Scotland, National Piping Centre, National Youth Choir, Scottish Book Trust, Scottish Brass Band Association, Scottish Music Centre, Scottish Youth Theatre and Youth Theatre Arts.

Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop said: “Youth music and youth arts organisations across Scotland are playing an important role in the lives of young people during these difficult times.

“This funding will support these organisations to expand their work and provide creative opportunities to young people as well as work and income for the artists and practitioners working with them through these projects.”

These awards are the first to be announced from the Scottish Government’s £3million funding package for Youth Arts.  Further announcements will follow regarding recipients of at least £1.2million through the Access to Youth Arts Fund, £700,000 Small Grants Scheme and £50,000 assigned to the Time to Shine Nurturing Talent Fund.

Iain Munro, CEO, Creative Scotland said: “All the emergency funds currently being delivered by Creative Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government are vital in addressing the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic. I’m particularly pleased that we are able to announce today the first recipients of this Youth Arts funding which will reach some of the children and young people most adversely affected by the pandemic and provide important work for freelance artists whose opportunities have been so severely impacted by Covid-19.”

The full list of Fund recipients:

Organisation (Trading name) Local Authority Area Award

Drake Music Scotland

Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Highland





Fèisean nan Gàidheal

Highland, National


Fèis Rois



Film Access Scotland



National Piping Centre



National Youth Choir of Scotland

Aberdeen, Glasgow National


National Youth Orchestras of Scotland

Glasgow, Stirling


Scottish Book Trust



Scottish Brass Band Association



Scottish Music Centre



Scottish Youth Theatre



Sistema Scotland

Dundee, Aberdeen



Edinburgh, Fife


Tinderbox Collective

Edinburgh, Perth and Kinross


Toonspeak Young Peoples Theatre




North Lanarkshire


Youth Theatre Arts Scotland



    Toal: £1,053,393.00


*Starcatchers led consortium working in partnership with Imaginate and Lyra.

Updates on all emergency funds are being published regularly on this website and publicised through media and social media communications.

Photograph: Anne Binckebanck, courtesy of Drake Music

Contact Information

Katya Speight

Media Relations & PR Co-ordinator

Creative Scotland


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