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Glasgow 2014 unveils £4 million fund for cultural sector to celebrate Commonwealth Games

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Celebrations planned to build momentum and excitement in the run up to and during the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are to benefit from a £4million investment, it was announced today (Wednesday, December 05).

The Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme Open Fund aims to develop a vibrant creative programme in Glasgow and across Scotland to compliment the largest multi-sport event the country has ever seen.

This Fund is a major component in the development of the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme, which will be a nationwide celebration. It aims to enhance the Games experience for spectators and visitors, and create a platform to showcase the best of Glasgow and Scotland's culture alongside that of the Commonwealth.

Individual artists, community-led groups and arts organisations are invited to apply for awards that could range from £20,000 up to £300,000 through the scheme, which is the result of a partnership between Glasgow 2014, Creative Scotland and Glasgow Life.

Projects can be new and one-off events or enhancements of an existing festival or programme of work. They can feature in either or both the Scotland-wide programme Culture 2014 – which will focus on the countdown to the Games before the focus subsequently turns to other major events, such as the Ryder Cup and the Edinburgh Festivals – and Festival 2014, which will transform Glasgow during Games-time.

Successful proposals will demonstrate a compelling connection to the Games, link to the journey of the Queen's Baton Relay across Scotland or to other significant Games milestones, such as 'One Year To Go'.

The bulk of cultural activity will take place between June and the end of August 2014, though it is anticipated that preliminary activity will take place in 2013 and early 2014. The deadline for applications is 22 February 2013.

David Grevemberg, Chief Executive of Glasgow 2014, said: "We want passion and drama off the field of play - an exciting, ambitious and accessible programme of cultural events - to become a defining feature of how we host the XX Commonwealth Games.

"Scotland's largest ever sporting and cultural event will be the perfect stage to showcase the creativity of the nation as we take Scotland to the Commonwealth and celebrate Commonwealth cultures on home soil."

Humza Yousaf, External Affairs Minister, said: "The ambitious Cultural Programme for Glasgow 2014 is proof that there's more to these Commonwealth Games than sport – it's a phenomenal opportunity to promote Scotland's modern and vibrant culture at home and on the world stage and to celebrate our place in the Commonwealth.

"As a national showcase of exceptional new work, it will offer innovative ways for audiences in Glasgow and across Scotland to see, experience and participate in our diverse cultures. This will help to strengthen, support and sustain our cultural sector by providing opportunities for artists and creative practitioners."

Iain Munro, Director of Creative Development, Creative Scotland said: "Glasgow 2014 provides a unique opportunity for Scotland to reimagine its relationship with the Commonwealth. The eyes of the world will watch as Scotland celebrates the gathering of many nations and people, and the very best of arts and culture.

"Building on the energy and excitement generated by the London 2012 Festival and Cultural Olympiad, the Glasgow 2014 Cultural Programme will provide opportunities for the whole nation to take part. Today's announcement is the first step in creating a vibrant programme of world-class culture in celebration of Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games – creating a lasting legacy and unforgettable experiences for all."

Dr Bridget McConnell, Chief Executive of Glasgow Life and Director of Ceremonies, Culture and the Queen's Baton Relay at Glasgow 2014, said: "Glasgow has the skills, knowledge and expertise to produce a world-class cultural programme that will showcase the best of our creative talents to the city, nation and Commonwealth. We want Scotland's artists and creative community to be at the heart of the cultural programme and look forward to working with them on what promises to be one of the biggest expressions of our artistic excellence in a generation."

Councillor Archie Graham, Executive Member for the Commonwealth Games, said: "The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games are about so much more than watching eleven days of the finest sporting achievement – they will also provide us with the chance to showcase our fantastic cultural life, which is equally world-class. This fund will allow creative individuals and organisations to contribute to a programme of memorable events and performances in 2014."