Edinburgh Schools No Place like

Scottish Government emergency funds for Edinburgh youth arts

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 Edinburgh area. 

Drake Music, Tinderbox Collective and Starcatchers* 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: “This funding will enable us to forge ahead with Sound Explorers, a new programme of online activity. 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." 

Jack NissanDirectorTinderbox Collective said: “The Youth Arts Targeted fund is an invaluable support that will enable us to provide a range of music projects, youth clubs and creative opportunities to hundreds of children and young people at this time, both on-line and in person, as we adapt to the changing circumstances of the pandemic.  It is so important that all young people have access to positive, social and creative activities like this, and that we do whatever we can to keep these going at this time.” 

Rhona MathesonChief ExecutiveStarcatchers said: “On behalf of Starcatchers, Imaginate and Lyra I am delighted that we have secured the Youth Arts funding to deliver the Where We Are project together.   

“As well as providing children and young people with the opportunity to engage with, and participate in creative activities in their own communities, it will also provide more than 15 jobs for artists and freelance practitioners over the next year.  

“Given the challenges we are all facing as a result of the Covid pandemic, this is an exciting opportunity to initiate a new project that fosters collaboration, creativity and connection.” 

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, the £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 

Funding Amount 

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 Orchestra 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 





Total: £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

Claire Thomson

Media Relations & PR Officer

Creative Scotland

+44 141 302 1708



Notes to editors

The Youth Arts funding announced today is part of a series of emergency funds from the Scottish Government being delivered by Creative Scotland to help mitigate the immediate impacts of Covid-19 on the creative and cultural sector. The emergency funds announced by the First Minister on Friday 28 August are as follows: 

  • £5million Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers, including a fund for freelancers working in Screen, which opened for applications on Monday 26 October. The Fund - which has been enhanced to £8million from an additional £3milion from the Scottish Government announced on Tuesday 3 November - reopened for further applications on Tuesday 10 November. 
  • £15million Culture Organisation and Venues Recovery Fund which opened for applications on Thursday 17 September with a deadline of Thursday 24 September. 348 applications were received totalling over £22million. The first tranche of £11.75million made to 203 recipients were announced on Thursday 5 November.  The second tranche will be announced on Thursday 19 November. 
  • £3.5million Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund, which opened for applications on Monday 14 September with a deadline of Monday 5 October. Recipients were announced on Tuesday 3 November. 
  • £3.5million additional funds for Creative Scotland’s Open Fund which is open for applications to individuals and organisations on a rolling basis.  
  • £1.5million for the Culture Collective programme (part of the £5million Sustaining Creative Practice Fund, referred to in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government), supporting organisations employing freelance artists to work in and with communities across Scotland. The programme launched on Tuesday 3 November. 

Previously announced funds from the Scottish Government are: 

The Scottish Government emergency funds being administered through Creative Scotland are part of the Scottish Government’s announcement of Friday 28 August of £59million emergency funding for culture and heritage. That funding comes from the £97million in UK Government consequentials for the culture and heritage sectors. 

This is in addition to the £23.5million previously awarded through the Creative, Tourism, Hospitality and Hardship Fund and £128million through the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund

More information about Covid-19 funding and resources can be accessed via FindBusinessSupport.gov.scot, and through Creative Scotland’s Resource Directory for COVID-19. 

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. 

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