Arts and Culture Funding

Highlands and Western Isles #VACMA Scotland

For the 2020 – 2021 Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards  #VACMA Scotland, visual artists and craft makers living in the Comhairle nan Eilean Siar local authority area, are invited to apply to the scheme being delivered by High Life Highland in partnership with Creative Scotland.

The purpose of VACMA is to support Scotland-based visual artists and craft makers in their creative development. This year, in recognition of the ongoing impacts of COVID – 19 on individual travel and classes, the programme will offer fixed fee bursaries for the development of creative practice.

Bursaries of £500 and £750 are available to individuals.

There are two deadlines for applications:

5pm Tuesday 10 November 2020 and;

5pm Tuesday 2 February 2021

For application forms, guidance notes and further information please visit the High Life Highland (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) website.

Ceramics and Jewellery: Ceramics by www.shoreline-stoneware.co.uk and Jewellery by www.islewear.co.uk

Between 2010 and 2019 the VACMA grants scheme was managed locally by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar in partnership with Creative Scotland. The grants were funded by Comhairle nan Eilean Siar and supported by Creative Scotland through funding from the National Lottery.

Louise Cook - Shoreline Stoneware and Jordane Symington – Islewear are previous recipients of  VACMA: Na h-Eileanan Siar grants. The image shows examples of their work. The left portion of the image is a photographic close-up of the details of four textured stoneware bowls in natural sand shades, the bowls are edged with woven marram grass.  The right portion of the image is a photograph of three silver rings, one set with a pearl, another with a purple gem stone; all three are sculpted with natural forms recalling the seashore. The rings are displayed on a barnacled rock.

A summary of grants awarded between 2010 and 2019 to Visual Artists and Craft Makers living in the Outer Hebrides is available to download.

Visual Artist and Craft Maker Awards:Na h-Eileanan Siar:2010-2019 (997.8kB) (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)

Comhairle Supported Arts Organisations

The Comhairle currently support 5 key Arts organisations via Annual Funding Agreements

An Lanntair (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)  a contemporary arts centre in Stornoway, Isle of Lewis.

Taigh Chearsabhagh Museum and Arts Centre (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)  a contemporary arts and heritage venue in Lochmaddy, North Uist.

Hebridean Celtic Festival (Opens in a new window or downloads a file)  an international Celtic Music Festival which takes place in Stornoway (and at a number of rural venues) over 4 days in July.  HebCelt 2020 was postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19.  Seisean HebCelt, a series of specially commissioned online performances for 2020 can be viewed via the HebCelt website. 

Ceolas Uibhist (Opens in a new window or downloads a file) a Gaidhlig cultural, traditional music and dance Summer School/ Events programme held in South Uist in July. The 2020 live events were postponed to 2021 due to COVID-19. A series of online events and performances were created for 2020. Please see the Ceòlas Uibhist website for full details.

Western Isles Fèisean

Comhairle funding supports seven local Fèisean in the Outer Hebrides to hold week-long Gaelic music, drama and cultural tuition festivals for children and young people.

Sgioba na Gaidhlig

Sgioba na Gaidhligoffer Financial Support for Small Gaelic Projects. Applicants must be properly constituted community groups. Projects must meet one or more of the three Strategic Objectives of the Gaelic Language Plan for the Western Isles 2007-2012:

  • To strengthen Gaelic as a language in the family in the Western Isles
  • To strengthen Gaelic as a community language in the Western Isles
  • To increase the number of Gaelic speakers in the Western Isles

For guidelines and application forms please refer to Financial Support for Small Gaelic Projects.

Business Gateway

Business Gateway can offer support to arts and cultural businesses based in the Outer Hebrides via a range of schemes.

For full details please contact businessgateway@cne-siar.gov.uk or refer to Business Gateway Assistance Available

The Ross and Cromarty Educational Trust Scheme 1961

This scheme awards small grants and bursaries to individuals and community groups based in Lewis. Applications can be made for Arts and Cultural projects. For further details please download the Ross and Cromarty Educational Trust Guidelines (32.3kB) and Application Form (45.0kB) or contact:

Catriona Maciver
Department for Education
Comhairle nan Eilean Siar
Sandwick Road
Stornoway
HS1 2BW

Tel: 01851 709 546
e-mail: catriona-maciver@cne-siar.gov.uk

Grants To Voluntary Organisations

The Social and Community Services Department operate grant schemes which can support cultural activity. Please refer to Grants To Voluntary Organisations for full details.