More than £1.1 million has been invested in Scottish business and cultural partnerships over the past two years thanks to a “pioneering” programme encouraging collaboration between industry and the arts.
The Culture & Business Fund Scotland (CBFS), a funding scheme managed by charity Arts & Business Scotland, has invested almost £500,000 in 68 individual business and cultural tie-ups since its launch in April 2017.
Arts & Business Scotland reported that every £1 invested by CBFS generated £1.31 in business sponsorship, creating a total investment of more than £1.1m.
The programme, funded by the Scottish Government via arts and creative industries development body Creative Scotland, supplies grants from £1,000 to £40,000 and match-funds business sponsorship of cultural projects.
It also provides ongoing support to partnerships in their second and third years to encourage longer term collaboration between business and the arts and heritage sectors.
More than nine in ten businesses participating in the programme cited raising awareness of their business brand as a key motivator for participating. Demonstrating corporate social responsibility credentials was also a popular reason.
Notable partnerships have included Edinburgh St James, the company behind the multi-million-pound redevelopment of Edinburgh’s St James shopping centre, collaborating with the National Museum of Scotland to sponsor the launch of “Body Beautiful”, an exhibition that champions positive body image and inclusivity in the modern fashion industry.
Meanwhile Glasgow chiropractic surgery Clarkston Chiropractic sponsored an exhibition showing Dippy the Dinosaur, a 292-bone full-size cast of a diplodocus skeleton, at the city’s Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum earlier in the year. Clarkston staff were able to talk to visitors at the exhibition about how to correctly look after their bones.
Derek Leitch, owner of Clarkston Chiropractic, said: “It’s a wonderful adventure to be involved in. Most children are fascinated by dinosaurs, they are a great way of talking to young people about all manner of scientific ideas.
“By supporting Dippy on tour, we hope to ignite a spark of imagination in all those who visit Dippy during his time in Scotland.”
Arts & Business Scotland chief executive David Watt said: “Since launching in April 2017, it’s genuinely inspiring to see the huge variety of cultural projects throughout the length and breadth of Scotland that have been made possible through the generous support of business, matched by investment from the CBFS.
“Over the first two years, the CBFS programme has now generated more than £1.1m of investment in 68 creative partnerships between business and the arts and heritage sectors. I look forward to seeing many more successful collaborations in the years ahead.
“I would actively encourage any cultural organisation looking for new ways to bring their projects to life to consider potential opportunities for partnering with the business community – and potentially accessing match funding from the CBFS programme into the bargain.”