Wigtown gets cash from crooks for young writers

Young writers will be given the chance to flourish
Young writers will be given the chance to flourish

Cash obtained through crime in Scotland is to be turned around and used by the Wigtown Festival Company to launch a variety of young writers’ programmes.

The Festival Company has big ambitions for the area’s youngsters including a virtual Young Writer’s Centre that will that raise awareness of national opportunities for young writers like the Scottish Book Trust Young Writer Awards.

The organisation will also set up a mentoring scheme for young people in Dumfries and Galloway, modelled on the English and Welsh Young People’s Writing Squads, that aims to find gifted young writers and introduce them to leading writers as well as volunteers who have relevant skills to share.

The area will also benefit from a programme of events from now until 30 June 2014, bringing nationally recognised professional arts practitioners in writing, spoken word and performance, screen, illustrating and publishing to Wigtown. The project will offer high quality workshops and residential experiences to children (10 to 13) and young people (14 to 19) from across the region in holiday times.

Anne Barclay of Wigtown Festival Company said:

“We are thrilled to receive support from CashBack for Creativity Open Arts Fund to further enhance the opportunities for young people across Wigtownshire to get involved in literature and the arts, particularly in more rural and deprived areas.” 

The charity is one of 30 projects from across Scotland who have received money from the CashBack for Creativity, Open Arts Fund administered by YouthLink Scotland, with £600,000 in total being rolled out over the next three years.

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Chief Executive of YouthLink Scotland, Jim Sweeney said:

“Money from CashBack has helped many youngsters on the path to a brighter future, showing them they can achieve their ambitions despite challenging life circumstances. This cash for Wigtown Festival Company will offer young people a truly unique experience and will help local young people make their literary mark on the town’s future.”

The CashBack for Creativity, Open Arts Fund will invest £200,000 in our young people this year. The new arts fund will support creative organisations, making a substantial contribution to the development of the youth arts, screen and creative industries. The programme enables local voluntary organisations and projects to apply for up to £10,000 of funding to deliver a range of high quality arts activities in areas where access to dance, theatre, film and visual arts are not available.

Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop said:

“The creative strand of CashBack is helping thousands of young Scots to access life-changing opportunities to boost their skills, improve their employability and reach their full potential through engagement with creativity and the arts.”