Pioneering drama work by Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA) with city schools has landed a major Lottery grant to extend and expand the work.
APA’s Creative Learning arm have been award £43,000 from the Big Lottery Fund’s Young Start fund announced today (Monday).
They are one of four groups to share grants totalling £160,433 from the fund which aims to help young people aged eight to 24 reach their full potential through a range of healthy, recreational and employability projects.
The investment comes from dormant bank and building society accounts that have seen no customer-initiated activity for at least 15 years.
APA Creative Learning has been given the £43,099 grant to provide theatre activities for 140 young people in the city, aged eight to 11. The award will contribute towards funding a youth theatre development worker and youth theatre assistants, as well as venue hire, materials and transport costs.
The award follows their pioneering six-month-long Insight: Making Theatre project, sponsored by Aberdeen Harbour Board, which involved working with two city primaries - Hanover Street and Kittybrewster.
Youngsters from the schools worked with APA’s Creative Learning and Aberdeen City Council’s Arts Education teams to create new opportunities for the youngsters to expand their knowledge and understanding of theatre with workshops in the schools and at The Lemon Tree, led by performing arts professionals.
APA Creative Learning manager Johanna Duncan said: “This will allow us to develop a Theatre Outreach Programme by launching three after-school youth theatres for eight to 11 year olds, in partnership with Aberdeen City schools and the communities in which they are situated.
“In addition, next year a new APA Create group based at His Majesty’s Theatre will allow those who have displayed a particular interest in the performing arts to further develop their performance skills in a venue-based performing group.
“This is a new strand to our current Young Persons Theatre programme which has been producing innovative theatre with 12-25 year olds since 2008.
“We are passionate about enabling young people to access the social and health benefits that participating in regular youth drama activity provides and we are delighted that the Big Lottery have recognised the importance of our work in reaching out to communities and those who do not already have regular access to drama activity.”
Announcing the Big Lottery Fund’s Young Start fund awards today, Big Lottery Fund Scotland director Jackie Killeen said: “These Young Start awards are all about bringing out the best in our young people. Every child and young person has something unique to offer that these latest projects can tap into and develop.
“Whether it’s learning new skills, receiving much needed respite or just having fun, we are delighted to be funding these projects, which will boost the confidence and nurture the growth of young people in the area.”
Welcoming the awards Finance Secretary John Swinney said: "Young people across Scotland will benefit from the Young Start Fund and it's exciting to see these grants being awarded. This investment from dormant bank accounts will contribute to a better future for our teenagers by helping them develop new skills and improving their confidence to allow them to reach their full potential.”