£125,000 boost for cultural future

Stornoway and the wider Lewis and Harris area have come out tops in the Creative Place Awards 2015, winning £125,000 to invest in the region’s cultural future.

The awards were announced to a packed audience at an evening ceremony, which took place yesterday (Wednesday) at Falkirk Town Hall in the presence of the Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Europe and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop.

The event was arranged by Creative Scotland in partnership with EventScotland and Falkirk Community Trust.

Since their launch in 2012, the Creative Place Awards demonstrate an ongoing commitment to ensuring that communities across Scotland are supported to create and participate, so that all the hard work and imagination that contribute to the cultural life of Scotland’s communities is recognised and it is the aim of the Creative Place Awards to provide inspiration for people and visitors by encouraging and celebrating the exceptional creative programmes that are taking place in towns and villages which might not otherwise get recognition.

Stornoway and the surrounding area will use the award for a programme to present and profile a route of artistic and cultural experiences into, throughout and beyond the town, so that Stornoway becomes a recognised gateway to the creative community of the Outer Hebrides.

Key activities include innovative and creative residencies in Stornoway Port Authority, the new Lews Castle Museum and Archive and other key local businesses and venues; traditional and contemporary.

Gaelic music and performing arts events in intriguing and unusual places; commissioning works to create an arts trail and route through the town; curated exhibitions in pop up venues; walking and Segway tours incorporating digital storytelling; specialist creative business support and a programme of staff development for all partners to raise the quality of the visitor experience.

Elly Fletcher, Chief Executive of of Stonroway’s an Lantair arts centre, said: “We are overjoyed with this result. What a wonderful opportunity this is to celebrate the incredible, creative Gaelic community of Stornoway and the outlying islands of Lewis and Harris.

“We are delighted and cannot wait to get our project ‘Bealach’ - off the ground, which will see a dynamic partnership from across our community to come together to create a route and gateway to Gaelic arts experiences into, throughout and beyond the town of Stornoway.

“There will be innovative residencies, Gaelic music compositions, productions and performances, trails, exhibitions, tours, bilingual digital storytelling, mentoring for emerging artists, and much more.”