New culture fund opens in the Capital

A new £45,000 fund to support Edinburgh performing arts opens for applications today (Monday 23 January).

Performing art theatre dance
Image credit: Owen Dippie, Creative Commons

The City of Edinburgh Council’s Culture Project Fund will in its first year focus on support for the performing arts.

Grants of up to £5,000 will be awarded to organisations based in Edinburgh to help with the costs involved in developing new performing artwork.

The fund has been created to support the city’s new Culture Plan, adopted by the Council last year. The plan was developed through the Desire Lines consultation process with input from creative industries, funding bodies, festivals, performers, artists, producers and venues.

It highlighted a need for greater support of emerging artists and ‘a shared city-wide agenda’ for culture in the Capital, which the Project Fund will help address.

Councillor Richard Lewis, the city’s Culture Convener, said: “Edinburgh has a long and strong reputation for creativity and excellence in the arts. Yet, while our established festivals, theatres, concert halls and galleries continue to thrive; a set of young and new resident artists and organisations are in need of support.

“It is no secret the Council faces unprecedented financial pressures, but we are determined to put our Culture Plan into action and improve support for those working at the grassroots level. We need to identify new and collaborative ways of resourcing the sector, and this fund will go some way to support such talent.

“While we recognise using our existing resources in new ways has some impact on regularly funded organisations, the result is the nurturing of more new work and emerging artists. This collaborative approach is to benefit the entire cultural sector here in the city.”

A panel of industry specialists will review and recommend which projects will receive funding in March.

Simon Hart, Artistic Director of Puppet Animation Scotland and advisory panel member, said: "The initiative will this year enable Edinburgh-based performing artists to begin to explore new creative ideas with confidence. The practical support will enable them to establish a robust foundation for the successful fruition of their artistic aims and ambitions. The Culture Fund is a very welcome additional funding source for artists living and working in Edinburgh and will begin by helping to maintain the city's international reputation as a dynamic centre for theatre arts."

Details of the fund and how to apply for support can be found on the Council website.

It is expected there will be a high level of demand for grants against the overall budget. The fund is open to any constituted organisation seeking to create new performance work and applicants are encouraged to seek partnership support and apply for the exact funds needed. Applications close on Friday 10 March 2017 at 12 noon

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