The fifth and final round of AmbITion Scotland funding for digital development saw over £100,000 awarded to 15 cultural and heritage organisations across Scotland. With a total of 64 funding requests received, this final round attracted more applications than any of the four previous funding rounds, and saw more funds awarded than ever before.
Since the first Make:IT:Happen funding awards were announced 12 months ago, AmbITion Scotland has awarded over £450,000 to more than 50 organisations, helping cultural venues, artists networks, touring companies and heritage organisations to ‘get digitally fitter’..
NEoN is pleased to one of the organisation to be receiving an award. The award will be used to develop it’s digital archive and legacy strategy and make available all of its digital content. After 5 years of festival activity it holds many digital assets and valuable documentation but has never had the resources to archive this material properly and make it available to its audience.
Over time NEoN has generated new digital content, which includes a game based app, animations, sound and new music. It has large amounts of documentation footage that include interviews with international artists and industry professionals, video of one off performances and coverage of discussions and talks. The problem has been what to do with these assets and having the resources to edit, archive and present them after the festival has finished.
By making this content publicly available we can reach new audiences and engage with them beyond the festival.
This project will form the basis of a larger project looking at digital heritage. Once we have the foundations of a digital archive we intend to develop a bigger collecting strategy and look at helping other organisations and artists consider their digital legacy.
Julie Tait, Chief Executive of Culture Republic, the organisation responsible for delivering the AmbITion Scotland project, said,
‘The cultivation of digital skills has never been more important for our sector: as people choose to interact with culture in new ways, more and more opportunities for engagement and participation between organisations, their peers and their audiences are developing online. The enthusiasm that we’ve seen for the AmbITion project since its inception is clear and encouraging evidence that cultural organisations all over Scotland are ready to embrace whatever opportunities digital innovation can unlock for the sector as a whole.’
Consistently, the Make:IT:Happen fund has attracted excellent applications from across the length and breadth of Scotland, from projects representing the full range and variety of the country’s arts. This latest round of funding is no exception.
Hannah Rudman of Rudman Consulting, founder of AmbITion and lead consultant for the AmbITion Scotland programme, explains:
“There’s been a real difference made in the arts, culture, and heritage sector here in Scotland as organisations have been supported by AmbITion Scotland to go on digital development journeys. We’ve seen companies develop new artistic products with digital tools, we’ve seen organisations developing new digital ways of engaging audiences with culture. We’ve also seen cultural businesses develop new digital business models and operational practices. AmbITion Scotland’s support has ’made it happen’ in the arts across the nation.”
AmbITion Scotland Project Manager, Ashley Smith-Hammond, has been a member of the expert assessment panel for AmbITion Approach, Organisational Development and Sustainable AmbITion across all five rounds of funding to date:
“We’ve seen a consistently high quality and quantity of applications from Scottish cultural organisations and practices throughout the AmbITion programme, and for this final round the demand has been greater than ever. That’s a clear signal that this sector is already making real progress through digital technology when it comes to building skill sets and infrastructures, as well as making connections with their audiences.’
Designed and delivered by Culture Republic and Rudman Consulting, the AmbITion Scotland programme and the Make:IT:Happen initiative are funded by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland.
Morgan Petrie, Portfolio Manager – Technology Digital Media & Market Development at Creative Scotland said:
“Creative Scotland are proud to support the AmbITion project and the Make:IT:Happen fund. It’s great that such a high calibre of applications was received from across Scotland and I’m sure the projects selected will offer opportunities for people to engage and interact with culture in new ways.”