The pelagic sculpture project on Shetland. Photo credit © Jo Chapman
Independent charity Arts & Business Scotland is hitting the road for a series of special events across the Highlands and Islands to promote greater collaboration between local cultural organisations and local businesses.
Arts & Business Scotland’s Highlands and Islands road show follows the organisation’s recent launch of the Culture & Business Fund Scotland. Funded by the Scottish Government via Creative Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland, the Fund is designed to promote collaboration between the cultural and business sectors by matching business sponsorship of cultural activities pound for pound.
Between 2006 and 2017, the Culture & Business Fund’s predecessor, the New Arts Sponsorship Grants Programme successfully invested almost £1 million across 44 individual arts and heritage projects throughout the Highlands and Islands. Arts & Business Scotland is now seeking to build on that successful legacy by encouraging the region’s cultural and business communities to apply for funding from the Culture & Business Fund Scotland.
A public opinion poll commissioned earlier this year by Arts & Business Scotland to coincide with the launch of the new Fund illustrates the potential benefits to business of sponsoring cultural projects. The poll found that a majority of Scots would be more likely to buy goods and services from businesses that support arts and heritage projects in their local area.
At the same time, with public budgets under continued pressure, business sponsorship is becoming an increasingly important source of funding for cultural organisations. A recent Arts & Business Scotland survey of cultural organisations from across Scotland found that, while most recognise the growing importance of partnering with businesses, a majority still find it challenging to forge such partnerships.
Arts & Business Scotland began its Highlands and Islands tour last week with a visit to the Rockfield Centre in Oban where a well-attended workshop providing guidance and information about the new Fund was followed by a drinks reception where local cultural organisations and businesses had the opportunity to meet, network and exchange ideas.
Next stop on Arts & Business Scotland’s tour of the region will be the Western Isles where Head of Programmes Carl Watt will lead special workshops for local cultural organisations at the Dark Island Hotel in Benbecula on Monday the 9th October and at arts hub An Lanntair in Stornoway on Tuesday the 10th October. These workshops will each be followed by a special dinner being hosted by Highlands and Islands Enterprise for the benefit of the local business community, where Carl Watt will also speak about Arts & Business Scotland’s work, the benefits to Western Isles businesses of sponsoring local cultural projects and the opportunity to access match funding for such sponsorship through the Culture & Business Fund Scotland.
Following the Western Isles, the Culture & Business Fund Scotland roadshow will move on to Inverness, where a further workshop takes place on Friday the 3rd November. Additional workshops are planned in Orkney and Shetland in early 2018.
Commenting on the Arts & Business Scotland road show, Head of Programmes Carl Watt said:
“Delivering £1 million of new cultural projects that would otherwise not have happened, the New Arts Sponsorship Grants Programme enjoyed a decade of success in promoting fruitful partnerships between cultural organisations and the local business community throughout the Highlands and Islands. We are keen to build on that success with the recently launched Culture & Business Fund Scotland.
“This new Fund has an expanded remit that includes the opportunity for existing partnerships to receive ongoing funding during their second and third years as well as a dedicated heritage sector strand. We’re really excited to be going out on the road across the Highlands and Islands to promote the huge benefits the Culture & Business Fund Scotland potentially has to offer. There has never been a better time for the region’s cultural and business communities to work together for mutual benefit and to help make even more exciting cultural projects happen.”
Full details and free tickets for each of the forthcoming Arts & Business Scotland workshops are available via the following weblinks:
About Arts & Business Scotland
Arts & Business Scotland is an independent Scottish charity. We act as a conduit between the cultural and business sectors, helping to nurture the creative, social and commercial relationships that will enrich creativity and cultural engagement across Scotland. More information can be found at: www.aandbscotland.org.uk
About the Culture & Business Fund Scotland
Funded by the Scottish Government via Creative Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland and managed by Arts & Business Scotland, the Culture & Business Fund Scotland aims to:
- encourage businesses to sponsor arts and heritage activity within Scotland for the first time;
- entice back businesses that have not sponsored the arts or heritage in Scotland within the previous two years.
- support arts and heritage organisations in building new business sector partnerships;
- attract non-Scottish based companies to sponsor arts and heritage activities in Scotland; and
- encourage businesses to sponsor arts and heritage activity within Scotland with a two and three year commitment.
An application form and guidelines for the Culture & Business Fund Scotland can be accessed via the Arts and Business Scotland website: www.aandbscotland.org.uk