Step into the Arts, a new youth-led grant programme from Youth Scotland and Creative Scotland, launches today

Youth Scotland and Creative Scotland partner to help young people launch Step into the Arts.

Thirteen young people stand and kneel in a group outside in front of a sunny hillside. They hold a large brown paper banner, which has white text reading 'Step into the Arts' digitally added to it.

Step into the Arts is an exciting new youth-led fund that will provide opportunities and support for young people to get involved in the arts, especially young people who might not usually be able to access them. £65,000 is available to young people aged 5–25 from across Scotland.

The fund has two components, designed to meet interested young creatives where they are at: First steps into the arts, is for young people who have some, a little or no experience with the arts and want to explore them further, and Next steps into the arts, is for young people who have experience in the arts and want to improve their practice or may be considering a creative career.

The Step into the Arts fund has been designed by a team of 14 young grantmakers aged 14–25, including the fund name, format and scope.

The fund is completely youth-led: the idea must come from the young person or young people; they must decide on what to put in the application and carry out the project if they are successful. Young people aged 5–25 living in Scotland (or up to 30 if you face significant barriers to accessing the arts). Young people can apply as an individual or team of two, or in a group of three or more young people.

Some young people, particularly those aged 5–11, may need extra support to apply and carry out their project if they are successful. In these cases, they may seek help from a supporting adult.

Speaking at the launch, Mike Strang, Youth Scotland Chief Executive said:

“Step into the Arts is a fantastic opportunity for young people in Scotland who are interested in the arts or are facing barriers in accessing them. We’re delighted that, thanks to our partnership with Creative Scotland, we have been able to bring together a group of young advisors who have created every element of the programme – right down to the name. Youth participation programmes like this are at the very heart of youth work and provide much needed opportunities to some of the most disadvantaged of Scotland’s communities.”

Sarah McAdam, TTS Programme Manager, Creative Scotland said:

“This programme presents an exciting opportunity for children and young people to step into the arts and bring their creative ideas and projects to life. Developed and led by young people Step into the Arts enables young people to directly influence decision-making in the arts, develop their own interests and creativity and share these with their communities.”

For full details on the criteria, what funding can be used for and how to apply, young people and youth workers are invited to check out this webpage:

For editors:

About Youth Scotland:  

We are the largest national youth work organisation in Scotland, supporting 82,571 young people, 1,730 youth groups and over 9,397 youth workers. Youth Scotland has been around since the early 20th century and has a diverse membership network – from small rural youth groups to large urban projects. The common goal that we all share is better outcomes for young people.

Our membership network is made up of local youth groups of all sizes, Area Associations and Youth Scotland staff who can provide support and training on a range of youth work topics. We are proud of the varied, universal youth work our network delivers and the innovative solutions our members create in an ever-changing youth work landscape.

About Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at Follow us on TwitterFacebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at