Crooks cash to help fund youth culture projects

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More youngsters across Scotland are to be given the opportunity to get creative thanks to cash confiscated from crooks under the latest initiative from the CashBack for Communities programme.

The Scottish Government has earmarked £2.25 million in support of cultural activities ranging from dance and music projects to film-making funded from money seized from criminals. This takes the overall investment in youth activities pledged through the scheme to more than £20 million so far.

Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop said:

“Recycling the proceeds of crime into arts and cultural activities gives Scotland’s young people the chance to get creative and broaden their horizons. Providing opportunities for young people to get involved can help improve confidence and give them a sense of achievement whilst also demonstrating that there is more to life than petty crime.

“We know that culture and creativity deliver significant benefits for the people of Scotland. Educating our young people about the creative sector and equipping them with skills and experiences not only benefits our local communities but also Scotland as a whole which is more important than ever in the current economic climate.”

Cabinet Secretary for Justice Kenny MacAskill said:

“We are working to build a safer and stronger Scotland by taking cash seized from criminals and reinvesting it into the community through our CashBack initiative. So far, we have confiscated more than #20 million and handed it to hundreds of projects across the country, helping more than 300,000 youngsters get involved in things like the arts, sport and outdoor activities.

“This latest funding announcement will help Creative Scotland get youngsters involved in meaningful and healthy diversionary arts activities, expanding the range of projects that CashBack has helped and ensuring more and more young people can expand their horizons and fulfil their potential.”

Chief Executive of Creative Scotland Andrew Dixon said:

“We are delighted that the Scottish Government has continued investment in CashBack for Creativity. This funding will allow us to reach and make a real difference to the lives of young people that may not otherwise have taken part in cultural activities. Engaging in such activities has the ability to develop confidence, self esteem and communication skills. We hope it will ignite a passion for the arts within young people and encourage them to continue careers in the creative sector.”

Creative Scotland will deliver the CashBack for Culture projects, working closely with Youthlink Scotland and arts organisations across Scotland.

The CashBack for Communities funding uses money confiscated from criminals under the Proceeds of Crime Act to fund a series of diversionary activities for young people aged ten to 19 across Scotland. This is delivered via a series of CashBack partners and a grants programme administered by YouthLink Scotland.