Small Grants Edinburgh

Scottish Government emergency funds for Youth Arts in Edinburgh and Midlothian

Three youth arts and civil society organisations have received a total of £223,530 to help the recovery of youth arts provision across the city of Edinburgh, ensuring employment for youth arts practitioners and creative opportunities for children and young people continue despite the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Action for ChildrenEdinburgh International Jazz and Blues FestivalNorth Edinburgh ArtsSambaYaBamba, Made in Midlothian CIC and Wheatley Foundation will use the funding to distribute grants of between £500-£5,000 directly to freelance artists/creative practitioners, across all artforms, for artist led youth arts activities. 

Minister for Children and Young People, Maree Todd 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 widen access to high quality opportunities for young people, allowing them to participate and engage with music and other art forms. 

“It will also provide welcome employment opportunities to more than 200 youth arts practitioners, including freelance musicians, across Scotland.” 

Paul CarberryDirector for ScotlandAction for Children said: “We are very pleased to have secured funding from Creative Scotland to undertake youth arts projects within our services in Scotland. This money will allow our services to deliver a range of arts projects, with the young people themselves deciding the arts they want to explore.  

“This fund will also enable us to work collaboratively with a range of artists across the country, allowing the children and young people we work with to benefit from a rich and diverse creative experience to support them.” 

The organisations will open for individual grant applications early in the new year.  

Gaynor MilneSambaYaBamba said: "SambaYaBamba are delighted to be involved in this exciting new way of distributing funds from Creative Scotland directly to practitioners in the street band network. This will open up opportunities for freelancers to create their own youth projects, with support from our organisation. We're really excited to welcome applications from individuals in early 2021, and look forward to seeing the new projects that emerge from this process." 

Giles AgisCarnival and Community ManagerEdinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival said: “Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival's Small Grants Fund project 'Routes to Roots' will see a diverse range of freelance musicians, dancers, circus artists, spoken word performers, street theatre artists and carnival costume makers re-imagine Edinburgh Festival Carnival 2021 through 'artists led' projects. 

“The selected artists will work with children and young people across Edinburgh's diverse communities, creating new mobile performance work which will animate our annual carnival parade, or static work which will be performed in Princes Gardens after the carnival has finished.” 

Genevieve Kay-GourlayDepute to DirectorNorth Edinburgh Arts said: “North Edinburgh Arts (NEA) is delighted to be awarded funding from Creative Scotland to deliver a youth arts residency programme, in partnership with Independent Arts Projects (IAP), for freelance artists and creative practitioners working across a range of artforms.  

“The programme will empower freelance arts practitioners to take the lead in the design and delivery of accessible creative opportunities for children and young people living in Muirhouse, North Edinburgh. Artists will be supported through mentoring, advice and training, and will have access to a regular peer forum; trying out ideas as part of new or longer-term piece of research and development, whilst strengthening and broadening longer-term connections with the individuals and organisations involved.” 

Lorraine McLarenDirectorWheatley Foundation said: “Many people in our communities just don’t have the opportunity or the means to access the arts.  We’re always keen to find new ways to support tenants and their families to take part in art, drama or music and this tranche of funding will enable us to do exactly that. We’re looking forward to working with Creative Scotland and artists to bring some great projects to our communities right across central and the south of Scotland.” 

Iain Munro, CEO, Creative Scotland said: “These vital emergency funds being delivered by Creative Scotland on behalf of the Scottish Government are ensuring that creative opportunities continue to exist for young people and across Scotland at this critical time and provide important work for freelance artists whose opportunities have been so severely impacted by Covid-19.” 

Action for Children has received £50,000, Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival £30,000, North Edinburgh Arts £36,025, SambaYaBamba £27,505 and Wheatley Foundation £50,000. 

These organisations are five of 18 across Scotland to have received a share of share in over £690K funding. The full list of recipients is: 

Organisation (Trading name) 

Local Authority Area 

Funding Amount 

Aberdeen City Council, Creative Learning 



Action for Children 

Edinburgh, North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, Clackmannanshire 


Angus Council 



Dundee Rep & Scottish Dance Theatre Limited 



East Ayrshire Council 

East Ayrshire 


Edinburgh International Jazz and Blues Festival 



Fèis Rois 

Highland, Moray, Aberdeenshire, Dumfries & Galloway 


Fife Cultural Trust 



Findhorn Bay Arts 



Glasgow Connected Arts Network 



Made in Midlothian CIC 



North Edinburgh Arts 



PACE Theatre Company 




Glasgow, Renfrewshire, Edinburgh 


Scottish Borders Council 

Scottish Borders 


Shetland Arts Development Agency 



The Pier Arts Centre 



Wheatley Foundation 

Glasgow, Edinburgh, National 


The Small Grants Scheme is the second strand of funding to be announced as part of the Scottish Government’s £3million funding package for Youth Arts, being delivered through Creative Scotland.  At least £1.2million has already been distributed through the Youth Arts Targeted Fund and £50,000 assigned to the Nurturing Talent: New Routes Fund

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

Image: Zoo Arts participants, project led by Alice Betts at North Edinburgh Arts (Alice Betts)

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 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. 

More information on how these funds are being applied can be found on the Creative Scotland website: 

More information about Covid-19 funding and resources can be accessed via, 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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