Three community art projects in Edinburgh are being provided with extra support thanks to almost £12,000 worth of grants from the ScotRail Foundation Cultural and Arts Fund.
The ScotRail Foundation is part of the ‘ScotRail in the Community’ initiative and aims to empower residents making a positive difference in their local community.
The funding has been awarded to:
- Art Walks Projects (£5,000) – the grant will contribute towards the cost of a ‘Healthy Living Cultural Trail Map and Guide for East Edinburgh and Musselburgh’. As many as 12,000 people will benefit from the project, improving physical and mental health and wellbeing.
- Edinburgh Tamil Sangam (£2,000) – funding will help the Edinburgh Tamil Sangam (ETS) to deliver the ‘festival of lights’ event which takes place annually. The event attracts around 400 people from a variety of ethnic backgrounds to celebrate the Tamil culture and bring communities together.
- Photographer Kenny Bean (£4786) – this will allow Kenny to create several unique pieces of light art work, using LED lights to mimic the Border Rail tracks. The artwork will be placed at six libraries in the Borders and Midlothian, all within walking distance of a station. The celebration of the resurgence of the Borders Railway will reach around 2000 people.
The funding provided to 18 groups and individuals throughout the country is the largest the Cultural and Arts Fund has ever made, with £60,215 being awarded to support local communities.
Applications are taken from groups or individuals across Scotland looking to fund arts, community recreation, or sports activities in the vicinity of a train station, or with a travel or safety theme.
James Ledgerwood, Head of Economic and Community Development at the ScotRail Alliance, said:
“It’s fantastic to see the real difference that these grants are making to the lives of people throughout Edinburgh and the surrounding areas, bringing communities together.
“We know how important the railway is to the communities we serve, and we want to do all we can to strengthen and support that link.”
Giles Ruck, CEO Foundation Scotland, said: “We have been working with the ScotRail Foundation since 2016 supporting grassroot projects across Scotland. This latest round has attracted a number of projects which will connect communities to their railway stations, bringing colour and vibrancy to the stations and the thousands of travellers who pass through each day.”
Rosy Naylor, Arts Producer at Art Walk Projects, said: “We’re really looking forward to being able to work with local people from across Leith, Portobello & Musselburgh who will benefit through this well-being programme to increase their everyday journeys.
“We’ll be bringing together these areas, connectivity and culture in a fun way with this printed guide, all arranged around some artist devised walking and cycling routes. The project is also being partnered by Paths for All.”
A spokesperson for Edinburgh Tamil Sangam said: “Edinburgh Tamil Sangam Festival of Light celebration is an outlet for the Creativity of the Tamil Community of Edinburgh, which brings us together and follow our passion in arts and culture while making us feel proud and at home.
“We are grateful for ScotRail’s funding, which helps make it possible to run this ever-growing event, while promoting sustainable living through use of public transport and reduced waste.”
Christine Johnston, Scottish Borders Libraries Officer, said: “This project will be an inspiration to the community and a great opportunity for local children to work directly with the artist.”