Young Borders music-makers celebrate cash boost

Sound Cycle has been awarded �9,800.
Sound Cycle has been awarded �9,800.

A funding boost of £9,800 has come as music to the ears of young Borderers this week as it secures the extension of their creative music programme for another year.

Galashiels-based Youth Borders has been awarded £9,800 from the Scottish Government’s Cashback for Creativity fund to keep its Sound Cycle project going.

Youngsters with project coordinator James Mackintosh.

Youngsters with project coordinator James Mackintosh.

The project, started 18 months ago, works with youngsters to help them gain confidence, learn new skills and build self-esteem through music.

The young musicians are set to release their second album, entitled Warp, this year and will be a star turn at this year’s Borders Book Festival on Saturday, June 16.

The cross-border project has an estimated reach of around 3,000 and relies on the help of more than 500 volunteers across different youth work spectrums.

Youth Borders chief officer Clare De Bollo said: “Sound Cycle has developed into a recognised brand in the past year and provides fantastic and different opportunities for young people to access music in all forms.

“There are no barriers. Anyone can take part, with lots, little or no experience, or with just a love of music and a desire to try new things.

“With the tremendous expertise and networks of project co-ordinator James Mackintosh, we are able to access professionals, events and workshops that wouldn’t otherwise be available in this large rural area, where access is often a barrier and opportunities narrowed to the larger towns and cities.”

Selkirk’s Philiphaugh Community School has also received £6,365 to fund a sculpture making project for children aged 10 to 13 living in Bannerfield.

The youngsters will be assisted by Borders sculptor Lara Green to make a new piece of work for the estate.

Teacher Becca Mackenzie said: “Lara ‘s project will inspire creativity using our local environment and develop original artwork for our school grounds.”

CashBack for Creativity is funded by the Scottish Government through the CashBack for Communities programme, which redistributes the proceeds of crime to benefit young people.

Jim Sweeney MBE, CEO YouthLink Scotland, the national agency for youth work, said: “CashBack is truly unique, Scotland is the only government within the UK that is using cash seized from criminals and putting it back where it should be, right at the heart of communities, to enrich and invest in our young people through creative opportunities through great youth work.”