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20/01/14 11:30

£2.25m for Scottish talent

Latest Expo Fund awards unveiled.

Edinburgh’s 12 thriving festivals will benefit from £2.25 million funding in 2014-15 to promote Scottish-based works.

The award, from the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund, was announced by Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs Fiona Hyslop as she attended the unveiling of the National Theatre of Scotland’s 2014 programme in Edinburgh.

A highlight of the programme, which tackles the themes of nationhood, identity and culture in the Year of Homecoming, is Rona Munro’s The James Plays. A co-production between the National Theatre of Scotland and the Edinburgh International Festival, the plays have been awarded £200,000 in Expo funding.

Cabinet Secretary for Culture and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop, said:

“The James Plays are a superb example of the work of the Expo Fund and the Scottish Government’s commitment to supporting Scottish cultural works.

“This project vividly illustrates how the Edinburgh Festivals can provide a distinctive cultural experience that attracts artists, audiences and media from every continent and more than 70 countries.

“This year, Scotland will take centre stage as we welcome the world to join us in the celebration of the second year of Homecoming and as host of the Commonwealth Games and Ryder Cup. Given this global focus, it is vital that our Festivals Expo projects showcase the very best of Scottish culture and creativity to the world.

“I am proud that the Expo Fund has gone from strength to strength and will continue to ensure Edinburgh’s Festivals display the vibrant talent and creativity that exists in Scotland’s artistic and cultural life. ”

Director of the Edinburgh International Festival, Jonathan Mills said:

“The Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund demonstrates the value of culture to Scotland and our shared pride in our creativity and cultural identity. In 2014, we have a huge opportunity to showcase Scotland to the world and the Edinburgh International Festival is set to play its role both at home and abroad.

“The Festival is delighted to be working in partnership with the National Theatre of Scotland and the National Theatre of Great Britain to present the world premiere of Rona Munro’s specially commissioned history plays exploring a colourful, intriguing and critical period in Scotland’s history. We thank the Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund for its support of this substantial and exciting project.”

Notes to editors

  • Following their Festival premieres The James Plays will transfer to the Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre in London, who join with the National Theatre of Scotland and the International Festival in co-producing the project.
  • The £2.25 million announced today includes £250,000 which is directly awarded to Festivals Edinburgh.
  • The Scottish Government’s Edinburgh Festivals Expo Fund has provided £12 million from 2008-09 to 2013-14, supporting the costs of new productions, events or exhibitions which involve Scottish-based participants and are premiered at any of the 12 Edinburgh Festivals.
  • The Fund was established in 2007 to help maintain the global competitive edge of the festivals, to increase funding available to Scottish-based artists and practitioners and to encourage creative partnerships.
  • It is aimed at supporting touring within or outwith Scotland of works premiered at the festivals, work by Scottish-based artists and arts companies, and collaborative work with international artists.
  • The funding enables ambitious and innovative projects for audiences in Scotland and overseas, including collaborations between the festivals, international artists and creators. The assessment process and funding is administered by Creative Scotland.
  • Further projects across Edinburgh’s other Festivals will be announced in the coming months.