5 August 2015back

Investment in culture through New Arts Sponsorship exceeds £7 million mark

Grant for Shetland opera project takes fund total to exciting milestone

Hirda, an opera for Shetland

Arts & Business Scotland’s (A&BS) New Arts Sponsorship (NAS) Grants programme has hit an exciting milestone with total investment in culture through the scheme now exceeding £7 million. The NAS initiative which has the aim of encouraging new business sponsorship of arts, heritage and cultural activity is now in its tenth year.

Grants Manager for A&BS, Carl Watt said: “The success of the New Arts Sponsorship programme has surpassed all expectations and we’re delighted that we have created a match funding scheme with such longevity. To have exceeded £7 million of investment into cultural activity is an impressive milestone and clearly illustrates an appetite within Scotland for the business sector to support a thriving creative industry.”

The NAS scheme supports creative activity in Scotland by match funding private sector sponsorship from a business which has either never sponsored the arts before or hasn’t done so in the last three financial years. Match funding can be against sponsorship ranging from £1,000 to £40,000. The scheme is funded by the Scottish Government which has so far injected over £3 million into the initiative since its inception in 2006. Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP said: “It’s great news that the New Arts Sponsorship Grants programme has secured £7 million investment in culture during the scheme. The scheme attracts new fundraising partnerships and encourages new relationships between artists and businesses, attracting new fundraising partnerships and on-going sponsorships over many years. The links built between those working in arts and business offers scope for developing exciting and long lasting connections which benefit both sectors.”

The £7m mark was reached following a grant awarded to NOISE (New Opera in Scotland Events) for £2,000 after it received sponsorship from the Kidbrooke Group for Hirda. Hirda is a new opera inspired by the songs, stories, history and heritage of the Shetland Isles and is a collaboration between Shetland fiddler and composer Chris Stout, classical composer Gareth Williams, and librettist Sian Evans. The opera is performed using Shetland words and dialect.

Artistic Director for NOISE, James Roberts Carson said: ''NOISE is extremely grateful to the Kidbrooke Group and to Arts & Business Scotland’s New Arts Sponsorship Scheme for their contributions to Hirda, our opera for Shetland. Both are fantastic organisations to work with and we welcome their involvement with the project and with the company.''

Stephen White, Managing Director of the Kidbrooke Group added: ''The Kidbrooke Group is delighted to sponsor this innovative company which is bringing accessible opera to audiences throughout Scotland.''

The NAS Grant scheme has continued to grow year on year with 90 applications to the fund in the financial year 2014/15. Of the 90 application 50 grants were awarded totalling £342,005 in match funding. The scheme has also seen an increase in the number of small and medium sized enterprises sponsoring cultural activity with businesses citing brand awareness, PR opportunities, corporate social responsibility, marketing and enhanced community links as the key reasons for sponsorship.

 

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Arts & Business says …

"To have exceeded £7 million of investment into cultural activity is an impressive milestone and clearly illustrates an appetite within Scotland for the business sector to support a thriving creative industry.”

Carl Watt, Grants Manager