You're viewing our new website - find out more


Youth arts changing lives

Published: 23 Dec 2015 10:00

More than 1.5 million opportunities for young people to participate in the arts in 2015.

More than 1.5 million opportunities have been created for young people to take part in youth arts in 2015, and the Scottish Government is determined to open the door to many more in 2016, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said today.

Ms Hyslop announced that organisations in receipt of regular and annual funding from Creative Scotland have created 1,531,404 opportunities for young people to access the arts, and delivered 76,488 education and outreach events, in 2014/15.

And she reaffirmed the Scottish Government's commitment to ensuring that no-one's background in a barrier to taking part in cultural life and giving young people all over Scotland a chance to take part in culture and the arts.

These numbers include:

  • Over 150,000 young people who have taken part in school based music making through the Youth Music Initiative.
  • Over 76,000 who have had out of school opportunities through the scheme.
  • Over 21,000 children and young people have participated in activities through the Scottish Government's Youth Arts Strategy, Time to Shine, including those participating through the nine Youth Arts Hubs throughout Scotland.
  • Around 8,060 young people have accessed Cashback for Creativity projects between October 2014 and October 2015.

In addition young people are being reached through the "Every Child a Library Member" Pilot launched by the First Minister in August 2015 with pilot projects being developed in every local authority area to give children automatic membership to their local library. Libraries play a vital role supporting children in the early years, empowering communities and improving attainment, as well as giving access to books and IT.

Ms Hyslop said:

"These new figures show the reach of the Youth Arts projects we are delivering with partners across Scotland. This is a conservative estimate and I am convinced the actual number is higher still.

"This year I've had the opportunity to meet many young people who are taking part in the arts thanks to projects funded by the Scottish Governments and our agencies – whether it's children having their first music lesson thanks to YMI or young people who have been given launchpad to their first job in the sector through Cashback for Creativity training.

"Each young person I've met has stressed how important these chances have been to them and the difference it's made.

"I'm delighted so many young people are having a chance to access the arts, whatever their background, and I'm determined to help this number grow. Every young person in Scotland should have an opportunity to access, enjoy and participate in cultural activity, whatever their background.

"Arts and creativity can help young people grow confidently as citizens and towards realising their ambitions, wherever they lie. This can have huge benefits for the whole of society, and must be a priority, even in difficult financial times.

"That's why this Government is continuing to invest in the Youth Arts , and why I'll continue to champion the arts in 2016."

Joan Parr, Head of Creative Learning at Creative Scotland said:

"Creative Scotland is committed to creative learning and ensuring everyone can access and enjoy artistic creative experiences.

"Valuable opportunities have been created over the past year for Scotland's young people to express themselves and achieve their potential in or through creative activity. Particular thanks and credit should be given to the committed, expert and passionate teachers and practitioners who skillfully and energetically support young people in their creative endeavors every day across the country."

Notes to editors

You can read more about the Public Library Improvement Fund here:-