Renfrewshire’s creative sector has benefitted from more than £2million of investment from cultural funds since 2016.
The Culture Heritage and Events Fund (CHEF)and Cultural Organisations Development Fund (CODF) are designed to support the development of cultural activity throughout Renfrewshire and support the growth of sustainable and vibrant cultural and creative organisations in the area.
Since CHEF was launched in 2016 and CODF in 2019 they have collectively supported 158 creative projects and organisations to date. Applications are now open for the latest round of cultural funding grant programmes designed to strengthen and support Renfrewshire’s cultural sector, with a total of £400,000 available across the two funds.
Renfrewshire’s cultural funding programmes are part of Future Paisley, a council-led cultural regeneration partnership programme that harnesses the power of the arts, heritage, and culture for social and economic change.
CHEF supports projects that develop practice, engagement and participation in cultural and heritage activities and events in Renfrewshire and beyond.
Karen Herbison received CHEF funding to develop a multi artform play called ‘Escape to the Moon’. She said: “Being able to receive this funding support from Future Paisley makes me feel valued as a creative. Not everyone has these opportunities available to them and I feel incredibly lucky and privileged to have benefited.
“The support available to the cultural community in Renfrewshire lets people know that this is a place where creativity and creatives can thrive and will only continue to benefit the wider area and the people who choose to live and work here.”
Through CHEF Paisley Opera have been able to develop work with the orchestra of Scottish Opera and local dance company Right2Dance, to create a new production of Verdi’s masterpiece, Macbeth, with a new, specially commissioned ‘Paisley’ translation. The shows on 6th – 7th October 2023, will be the first ticketed pilot event to take place in the newly revamped A-listed Paisley Town Hall, which has just undergone a £22m transformation.
Simon Hannigan, founder of Paisley Opera said: “This will be our biggest, most spectacular show yet and we are so excited to be joined by the orchestra of Scottish Opera and Right2Dance in the wonderful newly refurbished Paisley Town Hall. We will be giving Verdi’s dark telling of the Macbeth story a Paisley twist through Lindsay Bramley’s gripping translation.
“We want to create an immersive performance that captivates people of all kinds and prove that opera is something powerful and there for all. Overall, this production of Macbeth is a testament to the power of collaboration and the vibrant artistic community of Paisley.”
Paisley Opera is also one of the local cultural groups to receive support from CODF. CODF is reserved for established or developing organisations in Renfrewshire that have a cultural and creative purpose. The fund supports organisational development activity to strengthen and build capacity.
In 2019, local group STAR Project were awarded funding from CODF to work with consultants Vis-à-Vis to help re-establish their strategic priorities and manage the change towards becoming a more sustainable organisation.
Sharon McAuley from STAR Project said: “Receiving funding from CODF was a great opportunity for us. We now have a more solid board and a core staff team with more capacity. We have better systems in place and a smarter approach to some areas of work.”
“With the support of CODF we were able to see a clearer future where our approach ensures our most vulnerable community members continue to engage with art and culture and that equality of access to cultural opportunity continues to be improved upon.”
Applications for the Culture, Heritage and Events Fund are being accepted until Monday 28 August 2023 and for the Cultural Organisations Development Fund until Wednesday 27 September 2023.
Guidance and application for both funds can be found on the Renfrewshire Council website – www.renfrewshire.gov.uk/culturalgrants
To find out more about Paisley Opera’s production of Macbeth please visit www.oneren.org.