A MUSIC project that aims to transform children’s lives is to be established in Glasgow, thanks to more than £1 million of Scottish Government cash.
• Govanhill chosen for second Sistema Scotland project
• Nicola Sturgeon says orchestra ‘transforms lives’
• Funding to cover 2012-16 granted
Sistema Scotland has been allocated £1.325 million to expand its work into Govanhill - one of the most deprived areas of the city.
Hundreds of children in the Raploch area of Stirling have already benefited from taking part in the project’s Big Noise Orchestra there.
Sistema Scotland chairman Richard Holloway said the “brave and imaginative investment” from the Government meant they would be able to establish a similar orchestra in Govanhill, and would start working with youngsters in the area next spring.
The music project will receive the funding over the period 2012-2016 while an application for a further £250,000 is still being considered.
Mr Holloway said the Scottish Government had been “very supportive of our work” since Sistema Scotland began in Raploch five years ago, funding an independent study into the success of the scheme.
He stated: “We are delighted that they are acting on the findings of that research with this substantial funding package which will help us continue our work in Raploch and enable us to start a new centre in Govanhill.
“Though we still have some money to raise privately, today’s announcement means it is all systems go for Big Noise Govanhill and we’ll be working with children there come spring.”
Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced the funding on a visit to Holy Cross primary school in Govanhill.
Ms Sturgeon said: “Sistema Scotland’s Big Noise Orchestra is already transforming lives through music and has the potential to improve confidence, wellbeing, health, education and community safety.
“The Scottish Government is committed to investing in programmes that can help to prevent health and social problems, which is why Sistema Scotland has our full support with funding coming from several different portfolios.
“Big Noise Govanhill is expected to make a real and positive difference to the community and the people who live there.
“Through sitting at the heart of the ongoing regeneration of the area, it will leave a long-lasting and meaningful legacy from the 2014 Commonwealth Games - we hope not only to see the young people of Govanhill taking part in the cultural celebrations surrounding Glasgow 2014, but also that the programme will bring the local community in Glasgow together, strengthening learning and cultural engagement.”
Ms Hyslop hailed Sistema Scotland’s work in Raploch as a “fantastic example of how cultural activity can deliver real benefits to individuals, communities and wider society”.
She went on: “It has improved the personal and social development of children in Raploch as well as their confidence, self-esteem, social skills and ability to concentrate, and I look forward to seeing the positive impact of the programme in Govanhill.
“This substantial funding package for Sistema Scotland demonstrates that the value of culture and creativity is recognised across the Scottish Government.”
Lyn Ewing, chair of the Govanhill Community Development Trust, said: “We’re delighted that the Scottish Government has announced its support for Big Noise Govanhill today. We think it will make a huge contribution to the area.”
She added the trust had been “working hard to help Sistema come to Govanhill” and while she stressed “what an exciting opportunity this is”, she added: “The project won’t be a success without the active support of local people.”
Ms Ewing said: “We can’t wait to hear young people making a Big Noise in Govanhill.”