Culture organisations set to benefit as unique funding opportunity reopens for seventh round

Storm puppet by Vision Mechanics (Photo: Vicki Watson)

A FUND that connects visionary culture organisations with business sponsorship opportunities will open for its seventh round of applications this month.  

Managed by the charity Culture & Business Scotland and supported by the Scottish Government, the fund will provide backing of up to £12,000 each to as many creative organisations as possible ranging from grassroots initiatives to established cultural events.  

When distributing funds, Culture & Business Scotland also account for an organisation’s ethical and environmental credentials, with a focus on supporting organisations which have implemented Fair Work policies, incorporated carbon neutral plans and embedded equality, diversity, and inclusion into their activities.  

Many organisations and businesses have benefited from this fund in the past. A significant beneficiary of the Culture & Business Scotland fund is Edinburgh-based theatre company Vision Mechanics, which used that investment to lever funds from A.T. Best Handlers Ltd in 2019, enabling the creation of Scotland’s largest puppet.

Made from recycled materials, the puppet, known as ‘Storm’, undertook a tour of the country to raise awareness of marine pollution and the urgency of caring for the environment. The project culminated in the appearance of Storm at Cop26. As well as this, the project addressed community and social empowerment and equalities, diversity and inclusion and also generated significant local cultural tourism benefits.  

For the business, it met a number of external facing business needs, such as image enhancement, business and brand awareness, marketing, but also addressed internal business aspirations, including staff relations and development and creative development. 

Tommy McCormick, Culture & Business Scotland Fund Manager, said: “Since its launch, the Culture & Business Fund has helped to forge impactful relationships between culture organisations and businesses, with powerful and innovative results. We are delighted to reopen the fund for a seventh year, extending opportunities to a wider range of organisations and providing creatives with the resources to bring their artistic visions to life.” 

Vision Mechanics, the organisation behind the Storm puppet, added: “We could not have made Storm without this sponsorship. It was a nail-biting budget and this deal made it possible.The additional funding from CBFS was essential. If it had not been available, we might have had a telehandler, but perhaps not been able to build the puppet.” 

Since its inauguration in 2017, the fund has enabled over 200 projects across Scotland to transform their artistic and creative visions into reality. Over £1.2 million of funding has been awarded so far to creative projects across the country, from Grampian Art Hospital Trust in the north to Dumfries and Galloway Art Festival in the south.  The fund serves Culture & Business Scotland’s commitment to facilitating meaningful connections between the culture and business sectors, creating the possibility for businesses to sponsor creative projects with vision and scope.  

Vision Mechanics received thousands and thousands of positive comments that can be viewed here:  

Applications are open from 17th May, and organisations interested in applying to the fund can do so here:

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