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£3million boost for young people to develop career skills thanks to confiscated funds from criminal activity

Posted on: Monday 4th August 2014

£3million boost for young people to develop career skills thanks to confiscated funds from criminal activity

On Thursday 17 July, 2014, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop joined young filmmakers, musicians and dancers who are developing their career skills thanks to the confiscated funds from criminal activity.

Ms Hyslop announced new funding of £3million for CashBack for Creativity, an increase of a third from the previous funding period, which will be distributed over the next three years through the Scottish Government’s CashBack for Communities programme, which redistributes the proceeds of crime to benefit young people.

In the last three years (2011-2013) £2.25 million has been invested in CashBack for Creativity, providing over 15,000 opportunities for young people in Scotland to participate in arts activities they would not have otherwise had access to.

The programme offers a wide range of activities and training opportunities which this year will be expanded to include all art forms including: dance, film, music, visual art, drama and literature, as well as digital media, for young people throughout Scotland, aged 0-25 years. 

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, said:

“The real impact of CashBack on young people’s lives can’t be expressed by statistics or in stark monetary terms – CashBack changes lives.

“The CashBack for Communities Programme takes funds recovered from the proceeds of crime and invests them in back into communities, putting young people on a positive path in life by providing opportunities for them to take part in thousands of free activities and projects.”

Programme participants have included Yutsil Martinez who began in making short films with the Screen Education project in 2011. Yutsil has gone on to star in the Screen Education film, Man With No Name, and was nominated for the Chris Anderson Award for Best Young Filmmaker 2013 (sponsored by the National Youth Film Academy). As a result, he was awarded an acting scholarship at the National Film Youth Academy in London, after winning a Best Actor award at the event.

Yutsil said: “Participating in these projects and shoots has allowed me to find opportunities and meet other filmmakers and professionals in the field. The CashBack for Creativity Programme has been instrumental in helping me build my confidence and really develop my passion for working in the industry, and carve a future career for myself. 

Through the CashBack for Creativity Programme Paul Reynolds earned a placement at Edinburgh’s DanceBase where he discovered a passion for dance and performing arts.

Attending DanceBase and developing as a dancer, taught Paul new skills that he believes will see him through life.  He now has a love of being on stage and performing for a big audience describing the feeling and rush he gets from performing as “incredible”. 

Paul said: “Only a few years ago I struggled to talk to people I’d never met before and I had little confidence and self-esteem, but with my participation at DanceBase through CashBack, I am now more confident and focused regarding what I want from life.” 

Through her Cashback for Creativity experience with the Scottish Music Centre, Highlands based self-taught singer/songwriter, Jemma Tweedie gained access to a professional music studio with an experienced producer who helped record her debut single All This Fear which is now available on iTunes. Fiona Hyslop and young girl with guitar

Jemma was also able to work with Music+, enabling her to develop her knowledge and understanding of specialised areas within the industry.  She has been able to strengthen her skillset further having the opportunity to work with other musicians and producers of the same age and she is now working on creating new music with some fellow peers she met through the project.

Jemma said: “Without the CashBack for Creativity I would never have afforded such an opportunity being a full time university student on a tight budget. Following this I completed a UK tour as a featured artist for Cafe Nero and have played numerous gigs and festivals across the country as well as being nominated as 'best acoustic' act at the Scottish Alternative Music Awards (SAMA's) last year. 

“The project provides fantastic opportunities to learn valuable information and develop skills with people who share similar interests. I think it is a very special programme as it has helped me achieve things I would never have been able to complete on my own. I would recommend it to anyone starting out or wanting to take their creativity further.”

Leonie Bell, Director of Arts and Engagement at Creative Scotland, said: "Providing opportunities for young people to get involved in the arts, theatre and cultural activities can help improve confidence and broaden their horizons.

“Over the next three years, the CashBack for Creativity programme will enable approximately 20,000 young would-be filmmakers, dancers, musicians, artists, actors, writers and digital enthusiasts to work in professional settings with experienced practitioners, helping to inspire them to achieve their potential in their future careers.

She added: "I was delighted to meet a number of young participants who have been given the chance to work on interesting and educational CashBack projects and develop their personal, social and career skills.”

CashBack for Creativity is part of the wider Scottish Government CashBack for Communities programme. To date over £74 million has been made available to benefit over 600,000 young people in Scotland since CashBack for Communities began in 2011.

Twitter: @CB4Creativity #CashBack4Creativity 


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