Cultural groups across Aberdeenshire urged to apply for funding

A scene from Granite. CityMoves Fusion. Production photography by Michal Wachucik (30th March 2016, Marischal College Quadrangle, Aberdeen).
A scene from Granite. CityMoves Fusion. Production photography by Michal Wachucik (30th March 2016, Marischal College Quadrangle, Aberdeen).

Cultural organisations across Aberdeenshire are being urged to get their funding applications in now for the next financial year to secure business/arts partnership funding.

The move comes as a pioneering programme that promotes collaboration between Scottish business and culture celebrates a decade of success, investing more than £286,000 across 29 individual arts and heritage projects in the North-East of Scotland.

Funded by the Scottish Government via Creative Scotland and run by Arts and Business Scotland, the New Arts Sponsorship Grants programme has been running since 2006. The programme is open to Scottish businesses interested in sponsoring an arts or heritage project for the first time as well as businesses that may have sponsored such projects in the past. Cultural organisations having identified a business sponsor for their project can apply for funding from the programme, which provides funding of business sponsorship valued anywhere between £1,000 and £40,000.

By effectively doubling the financial impact of the business sponsorship, the New Arts Sponsorship Grants programme has helped a variety of arts and heritage projects across the North East get off the ground.

One such project was a partnership between the National Theatre of Scotland and Deloitte which, between September 2015 and April 2016, helped to bring a major arts project to Aberdeen to celebrate the National Theatre of Scotland’s 10th anniversary year.

Consisting of a new, specially commissioned piece of event theatre preceded by a six month in depth community engagement programme, “Granite” successfully engaged with more than 25,000 people across the city.

Taking place on-site in the quadrangle of Aberdeen’s Marischal College, the world’s largest grey granite building, the final theatre performance took place in front of a sell-out audience of 1,350 and tells the story of the city and its people, including the diaspora who travelled from Aberdeen to make new homes across the world as well as those who have moved from elsewhere to make the city their home. The performance achieved popular and critical claim and has successfully created a lasting legacy for everyone involved – including the formation of a new Granite Theatre Company, a community theatre group set up to continue the theatrical learning experience.

Elly Rothnie, development director at the National Theatre of Scotland, said:

“Granite was a truly epic spectacle, performed in the largest grey granite building in the world – it sold out in hours and we had to add an extra performance through high-demand. We engaged over 100 community cast members from aged 8 – 80 to create an unforgettable theatrical experience for audiences and participants alike. Some of our cast had never performed before, never mind in front of hundreds of people each night. However, they showed up, they gave their all and endured the weather to bring to life a possibility. We enjoyed some of the best partnerships we’ve ever enjoyed between business and the arts with our Headline Sponsors Deloitte coming on the journey with us and involving their staff and their clients throughout the process.”

Derek Henderson, Partner at Deloitte, said: “It was an absolute privilege to be part of Granite, a cultural initiative of such significance to Aberdeen. Deloitte has a long history in the city and our support for this project not only enabled us to underline our continued commitment and investment in the North Eastbut provided a truly unique platform for us to engage staff, entertain clients and raise our profile in the city. We thoroughly enjoyed working with the National Theatre of Scotland, and all of the partner organisations, and feel proud of our part in helping tell the story of the people of Aberdeen.

David Watt, chief executive of Arts and Business Scotland, said: “Over the last decade since the programme started, we’re delighted to have generated more than £286,000 of public and private investment to help make 29 individual cultural and heritage projects happen across the North East.

“These projects span everything from theatre and art to comedy and dance. They have involved collaboration with businesses from construction to hospitality and from financial services to food and drink.

“Looking back over the past decade, this programme clearly demonstrates the mutual benefits of successful partnership between arts and business. For any cultural organisation in the North East looking to make their project happen during 2017, now is the time to be thinking about those local businesses that might benefit from getting involved in cultural sponsorship.

“Please get your funding applications in to the New Arts Sponsorship Grants programme now and I’m sure we will make 2017 another year to remember for arts and business collaboration in the North East.”

Applications for project funding must be made by the arts or heritage partner and submitted at least three months before the cultural activity begins. The project receiving funding must be completed no more than nine months after the date of submitting a funding application. Only businesses that have not sponsored an arts or heritage project in the last three financial years are eligible to take part – as well as those businesses that are completely new to cultural sponsorship.

To apply visit: