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Creative talent and engagement

We are committed to supporting, developing and promoting Scotland's creative talent, and ensuring that Scotland's culture reaches a wide audience at home and abroad.

This includes:

  • supporting our artists and performers to collaborate and to reach a wide audience through the Edinburgh Festivals
  • ensuring that every child and young person is able to discover their creative talents and reach their full potential

Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund

We established the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund in 2007 to:

  • help maintain our festivals' global competitive edge
  • increase the funding available to Scottish artists and practitioners
  • encourage creative collaborations

Up to 2018, the Fund has provided members of Festivals Edinburgh with more than £19 million to create a legacy of important new work and to promote Scottish artists internationally.

Both funding and the assessment process are administered by Creative Scotland.

Funding from 2017 to 2018

From 2017 to 2018 – the 70th anniversary year of the Edinburgh festivals – we are investing £2.3 million in the Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund. The largest allocations of funding are as follows:

  • £560,000 for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society
  • £300,000 for the Festival's 70th anniversary celebrations
  • £200,000 set aside for a Hogmanay event
  • £200,000 for the Edinburgh International Festival
  • £140,000 for the Edinburgh Jazz and Blues Festival
  • £140,000 for the Edinburgh Art Festival
  • £130,000 for the Edinburgh International Science Festival 2018
  • £120,000 for the Scottish International Storytelling Festival
  • £110,000 for the Edinburgh International Film £100,000 for the Edinburgh International Children's Festival
  • £100,000 for the Edinburgh International Book Festival

Economic benefits of the Edinburgh Festivals

The Edinburgh Festivals Impact Study of 2015 showed that the Edinburgh Festivals generate more than £313 million of additional tourism revenue for the Scottish economy each year, and attract an audience of more than 4.5 million.

The Edinburgh Festivals sustain 5,660 full-time equivalent jobs in Edinburgh and 6,021 additional jobs in Scotland.

Find more information about Scotland's festivals on our tourism and events page.

Youth arts

Our work with young people in the arts, as underpinned by our Time to Shine: Scotland's youth arts strategy, aims to ensure that no-one's background is a barrier to taking part in cultural life and the arts.

We are supported in this work by initiatives including the Youth Music Initiative, CashBack for Creativity and Sistema Scotland.

Youth Music Initiative

Our continuing investment in the Youth Music Initiative (YMI), which totals £109 million since 2007, has made a big impact in helping young people across Scotland to develop their skills. Between 2015 and 2016, the YMI provided music-making opportunities for more than 265,000 young people in and out of school.

Read about YMI funding on Creative Scotland's website.

CashBack for Creativity

Between 2008 and 2017 we invested £6.2 million in the CashBack for Creativity programme. This gave thousands of young people across Scotland the opportunity to develop their creative skills, improve their employability and reach their full potential through engaging with the arts.

Creative Scotland and Impact Arts have secured £17 million in funding for phase four, which will run between 2017 and 2020. This funding is made up of money seized from criminals operating in Scotland.

Visit the CashBack for Creativity website.

Sistema Scotland

Sistema Scotland is a youth orchestra programme that aims to raise attainment and tackle inequality in disadvantaged communities in Stirling, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

We are providing Sistema with £2.5 million over the next four years to extend the programme's reach to 700 more young people in Raploch, Govanhill and Torry.

Visit the Sistema Scotland website.

Scotland's Makar

The role of Scotland’s Makar or National Poet for Scotland, is a is a unique Scottish Government appointment. 

It rewards an accomplished poet who can speak for the nation’s community of poets and to their readers, and who represents the diversity of Scotland.  The role of the Makar is to promote poetry in Scotland and encourage its reading and writing.