Selkirk’s support for music and arts earns it a place on the national stage

Sheila Sapkota with the Cranston fiddle.
Sheila Sapkota with the Cranston fiddle.

Three Selkirk projects were in the spotlight at a reception to celebrate the Scottish Government-funded New Arts Sponsorship (NAS) scheme.

And the Borders was recognised for its success in generating outstanding arts and business collaborations.

Of the 54 awards made in the last year, four of these went to arts projects in Selkirk – IDEOMS Theatre Company, Riddell Fiddles and the YES Arts Festival, which managed to secure two separate grants. Investment through the scheme to the arts in the Borders last year totalled £28,926.

Sheila Sapkota, of Riddell Fiddles, who attended the event, told The Southern: “Selkirk really is the place to be for a musician/artist, or so it would appear from the reception at the Hub in Edinburgh.

“This Scotland-wide organisation featured three Selkirk-based groups in its recent film and report – all given as successful examples of arts/business liaisons.

“The Networking Company Selkirk – business sponsors of Riddell Fiddles since 2007 – also got a mention. The strength of musical and artistic cooperation in this small town is really, at a time of economic decline, so encouraging and is surely a strength for the future.”

The New Arts Sponsorship scheme acts as an incentive to businesses to sponsor the arts in Scotland and provides match-funding for arts projects which have attracted sponsorship.

Fiona Hyslop, the Cabinet secretary for culture and external affairs, said: “Arts & Business Scotland have worked hard to forge new relationships between artists and businesses, attracting new fundraising partnerships and on-going sponsorships over many years.

“The links built between those working in arts and business offers scope for developing exciting and long-lasting connections which benefit both sectors.

“The Scottish Government is committed to ensuring that everyone in Scotland has an opportunity to access, enjoy and participate in cultural activity, and schemes like the New Arts Sponsorship grants scheme help with this.”

David Watt, chief executive of A&BS, said: “The Borders has been particularly successful in securing funding through the scheme and it is testament to the passion within the Borders for the arts that four projects were able to receive additional support in this way.”

A short film showing the work of Arts and Business Scotland was previewed by the attending delegates. John Nichol from IDEOMS Theatre Company, Allan Williams (Networking Company Selkirk), Sheila Sapkota and Donald Knox (guitars), representing Riddell Fiddles, and Lawrence Robertson, representing the YES festival, attended, with all being featured in the film.