NEWS: Scottish Government Save Scottish Youth Theatre from Closure

Announcement by Scottish Culture Secretary allows company to continue during Year of Young People.

A short-term funding agreement has been reached to enable the Scottish Youth Theatre to remain open beyond July 2018, allowing young people across the whole of Scotland to benefit from their programmes.

The company had previously announced that they would have to cease operations in July 2018, after they were unsuccessful in their application for a Creative Scotland RFO (Regularly Funded Organisation) grant for the three-year cycle 2018-21.

The Scottish Government has confirmed they will match the £150,000 private sponsorship secured by the theatre, including investment management firm Baillie Gifford. With this joint backing, the organisation has stated it now has a foundation on which to achieve a long-term sustainable business model.

This package of public and private funding will allow the theatre to continue to operate throughout 2018 – including fulfilling important activity in the Year of Young People. It will give them an opportunity to identify a long-term funding solution, and to consider how to further develop work beyond Glasgow, and any partnerships that would make that possible.

Commenting, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The Scottish Youth Theatre has supported many young actors and other theatre professionals to find their voice and launch their careers. There was widespread concern about the announcement that the theatre was facing closure due to its financial position. This funding from partners will allow the theatre to maintain its work, and complete the ongoing positive changes to their business. It will also give time for further dialogue about a longer-term funding strategy. I have set out this offer to the Scottish Youth Theatre, and I have encouraged them to continue exploring all options available to secure a more permanent funding solution. I have also discussed with them their continuing ambitions to improve the reach, depth and quality of Scottish Youth Theatre’s work across Scotland, and how this funding will help them towards that goal.”

Jacky Hardacre, Scottish Youth Theatre’s Chief Executive stated; “With a future now secured for Scottish Youth Theatre, our focus is firmly on ensuring the nation’s young people have their own thriving national theatre company to engage with, be inspired by and to aspire to be a part of. This solution would not be possible without the support from Baillie Gifford and a number of private sector organisations and individuals. Furthermore, the First Minister and Cabinet Secretary have shown a great willingness to explore every option for Scottish Youth Theatre and we are very grateful for their time and efforts and their clear commitment to youth arts in Scotland. We have been overwhelmed and humbled by the support demonstrated by participants, alumni, parents, the creative sector and all-party political support who raised their voices in support of SYT. We would also like to acknowledge the continuing support of the youth arts sector who will be important partners in the coming months. A heartfelt thank you to them all.”

Fraser MacDonald | Image: Contributed

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