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Sunday, July 21, 2024

Successful Arts, Culture and Heritage Fund Bids Awarded in Moray

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Moray Council has awarded over £91,000 to eligible arts, culture and heritage groups from the UK Government’s Shared Prosperity Fund (UKSPF).

Organisations were invited to apply for grants of up to £20,000, and grants were awarded to all eight applicants who submitted a funding application.

Moray Concert Brass

Round two of applications for funding is expected to open on 15 April 2024 and close on 31 May 2024 with more details to follow.

Chair of Moray Council’s Economic Development and Infrastructure Services Committee, Cllr Marc Macrae, said:

“This funding will help our arts, culture and heritage organisations to become more resilient in the ongoing challenging financial environment.

“The majority of successful applicants will be using this funding for events, performances and activities, or to cover running costs, wages and professional fees.

“I’m delighted Moray Council is administering this finding to help give the arts sector a boost.”

The successful organisations are:

  • Forres Heritage Trust and Forres Area Community Trust – £20,000
  • Moray Concert Brass – £9,275
  • The Cabrach Trust – £13,000
  • Frozen Charlotte Productions – £10,000
  • Riff Raff Producing CIC – £11,500
  • forWORDS – The Forres Writing Group – £3,320
  • Speyside Children’s Arts Festival – £7,000
  • Moray Arts Development Engagement (M:ADE) – £17,020.92

Moray Concert Brass said they were delighted with their grant, which will allow them to host their Spirit of Brass Festival in September.

Their Musical Director and Founder Glenn Munro said:

“This grant will be instrumental in bringing fantastic music and musicians to the area, providing great entertainment as well as first class workshops for the young people of Moray.”

Heather Fulton, Artistic Director of Frozen Charlotte Productions, said:

“We’re delighted that this funding will allow us and our co-producers, Ten Feet Tall Theatre, to bring Wee Tales, our interactive storytelling performance for 3-7 year olds to spaces in Moray.

“We hope to inspire lots of children and families over the summer holidays with this engaging experience, designed to introduce children to theatre and celebrate a love of books.”

Alison Burnley, Co-Executive Producer at Riff Raff Producing CIC, said:

“Thanks to the UKSPF, we’ve initiated the first stage of a larger project to co-create a large-scale, outdoor community production next year.

“We’ll bring together local artists and communities to uncover stories, characters and themes for our time and place, write a new folktale, and commission a choral theme.”

Ellie Davies from Speyside Children’s Arts Festival said:

“Building on the success of our fledgling festival in 2023, this funding is part of a jigsaw of support from local funders and organisations that will allow us to create our second family festival on Saturday 29 June in Aberlour called Hello Summer!”

Stacey Toner, Creative Director for Moray Arts Development Engagement (M:ADE) said:

“We will, in collaboration with WildBird, be building on our work with the Moray Justice Team through arts-based activities.

“We’ve been grateful to receive support to establish a relationship with the service over the past year, and further support from this fund will allow us to harness our learning and further improve our working approach.

“Projects that take longer to embed in the community are often seen as high risk from a funding perspective, but the sustained staffing capacity over a significant period has been the key to creating trust and getting this right.”

Two local artists will be mentored by experienced artists, Lynne Strachan and Mary Bourne, to make work inspired by stories uncovered by a Cabrach Trust project called Cabrach Lives.

Lynne and Mary said:

“We’ve worked together in the past on public art projects and have several decades of experience between us.

“We’re looking forward to introducing our talented mentees to the intricacies of this unique place and we can’t wait to see how they will respond to it.”

Cabrach Trust Community & Development Manager Sam Dowdall said he was delighted with the funding award.

Michelle Gillibrand, Development Manager for Forres Area Community Trust, said:

“We are absolutely thrilled to have been successful in our joint funding application with Forres Heritage Trust.

“This has spurred us on with a concept, muted some time ago, to explore setting up a Heritage Quarter in the area.

“This is now gathering some interest with consultations recently organised as part of the Forres Conservation & Heritage Scheme.

“The Forres area is rich in history and we would like to explore how these assets and the local history could be better-promoted.

“This is an exciting time to show how community-led initiatives can be embedded and sustained for the future, with local people, and young people, central to the plans.”

Tez Watson, Treasurer of forWORDS, said:

“This funding will allow us to publish an anthology of poetry and short stories focused on Forres and the surrounding area.

“All of the contributing writers are members of forWORDS, and most have never had work published.

“We hope to launch the book during Forres’ Scottish Week in June.

“It is an exciting project for a small group like ours.

“We have bounced back post-COVID and our future looks more assured.

“As a result of the funding, one hundred copies are being given away to those who might not otherwise be in a position to access one, given their circumstances.”

The UK Shared Prosperity Fund is part of the UK Government’s Levelling Up agenda and provides £2.6 billion of funding for local investment by March 2025.

The Fund aims to improve pride in place and increase life chances across the UK investing in communities and place, supporting local business, and people and skills.

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