Firms invest almost £2m in Scottish culture

Firms invest almost £2m in Scottish culture

120 cultural projects have benefitted from £1.87m, through partnerships with Scotland’s business services, financial and legal sectors.

The results are being hailed as a decade of success for a pioneering programme that promotes collaboration between arts and business. 

Funded by the Scottish Government via Creative Scotland and run by Arts & Business Scotland, the New Arts Sponsorship Grants programme has been running since 2006. The programme is open to Scottish businesses interested in sponsoring an arts or heritage project for the first time as well as those businesses that have not sponsored such a project for at least three years.

Cultural organisations having identified a business sponsor for their project can apply to the programme, which provides pound for pound match funding of business sponsorship valued anywhere between £1,000 and £40,000.

In total, the New Arts Sponsorship Grants programme has invested over £7.5 million across more than 500 individual arts and heritage projects. By providing match funding for business sponsorship of cultural projects, it has not only helped a wide variety of arts and heritage projects across Scotland get off the ground but has doubled the benefit to participating businesses.

The programme is open to projects, businesses and cultural organisations of all sizes – be they large and nationwide or small and locally focused.

One business to have benefited from taking part is financial services organisation UBS Wealth Management, which sponsored three events at the 2015 Edinburgh International Book Festival, directly reaching an audience of over 1,600 people who attended events involving authors Ian Rankin, Julia Donaldson and Charles Handy.

Commenting on the project, Debjani Raffan, regional head UBS Wealth Management Scotland said:

“It's great that the New Arts Sponsorship Grant has matched our financial commitment and helped to bring this great festival to such a wide audience. The New Arts Sponsorship Grant was integral to UBS being able to sponsor the Edinburgh International Book Festival, a very successful first arts sponsorship in Scotland.”

Chief Executive of Arts and Business Scotland David Watt said:

“Over the last decade since it started, we’ve been really impressed by the commitment of so many businesses in the business services, financial and legal sectors that, through participation in this programme, have collectively benefited arts and heritage projects across Scotland with more than £1.87 million of investment .  

“Looking back over the past decade, this programme clearly demonstrates the mutual benefits of successful partnership between arts and business. I would urge those businesses unfamiliar with the programme to find out more about just how rewarding arts sponsorship can be – and the hugely positive impact it can have on their reputation, profile and bottom line.

“With the participation and support of even more businesses, we look forward to making 2017 another year to remember for arts and business collaboration across Scotland.”