We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded two year funding from the Young Start National Lottery Community fund to continue and develop of our  Young Promoters Scheme. The initiative is aimed at young people aged 13 – 25 years; enabling them to programme professional theatre productions and cinema screenings in their communities. The scheme focuses on empowering young people to become active volunteer promoters in their community while learning transferable skills in event and arts management.

The National Lottery Community Fund Scotland Chair, Maureen McGinn, said: “I am delighted that North East Arts Touring has been successful in securing Young Start funding. This award will make a big difference to the lives of local young people who will be at the heart of both project design and delivery. I wish the Young Promoters Scheme every success as it goes on to develop and expand its project to help young people reach their potential.”

The scheme was initiated through our active role in the creation of Youth Arts Collective North East, as part of Creative Scotland’s “Time to Shine” Initiate. The Young Promoters Scheme was initially delivered in partnership with Aberdeen International Youth Festival in 2015.

Since its initiation it has gone from strength to strength with over 312 young people in rural towns and villages across Aberdeenshire learning skills in programming and promoting professional theatre and dance in their community, with a further 2956 young people engaged in a range of creative learning and performance-based opportunities. Adrianna Butka a young promoter from Banff, said “Through the process of the scheme it was amazing to work with arts professionals and know your part of something big. Promoting these shows gives me a big boost of confidence”

As an outcome of the project we are thrilled to see a significant rise in young people attending professional theatre and dance performances in rural communities. Lynn Shaw, Young Promoters Coordinator, states that “Many of the young people we work with are isolated either geographically or through social deprivation. Up until now the scheme has been delivered in areas such as Banff, Whitehills, Alford and Peterhead. Receiving support from the Young Start fund will give us the opportunity to reach out to more young people in other rural communities across Aberdeenshire”

This is the only scheme of its kind in Aberdeenshire. Emyr Bell, Executive Director of NEAT strongly believes that “Creativity plays such an important part in the development of young people, having the opportunity to learn life-long and transferable skills is vital;  we are so excited to embark on this new phase of the project through support from Young Start.”

The scheme will restart at the beginning of June 2019