Scottish Youth Theatre saved after government-backed deal

Image source, Scottish Youth Theatre
Image caption,
The Scottish Youth Theatre was founded in December 1976

The Scottish Youth Theatre has been given a financial life-line thanks to a deal involving public money.

The Scottish government has offered £150,000 which matches pledges of cash from the private sector.

The theatre announced earlier this month its likely closure after failing to secure regular funding from arts agency Creative Scotland.

The deal will keep the youth theatre open beyond July, however, talks will continue on its long-term future.

The Glasgow-based organisation, which has been running for more than 40 years, has helped shape the careers of international stars like Karen Gillan, Kate Dickie and Gerard Butler.

The funding decision by Creative Scotland meant the SYT, which costs £600,000 a year to run, had a funding gap for 2018-21 amounting to a third of its required income.

Call to improve reach

A statement from the Scottish government said that "a short-term funding agreement has been reached to enable the Scottish Youth Theatre to remain open beyond July 2018, allowing young people across the whole of Scotland to benefit from their programmes".

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said she recognised that the theatre group had supported many young actors and other theatre professionals to "find their voice and launch their careers".

She added; "I have set out this offer to the Scottish Youth Theatre, and I have encouraged them to continue exploring all options available to secure a more permanent funding solution.

"I have also discussed with them their continuing ambitions to improve the reach, depth and quality of Scottish Youth Theatre's work across Scotland, and how this funding will help them towards that goal."

The chief executive of the Scottish Youth Theatre, Jacky Hardacre, said: "With a future now secured for Scottish Youth Theatre, our focus is firmly on ensuring the nation's young people have their own thriving national theatre company to engage with, be inspired by and to aspire to be a part of.

"This solution would not be possible without the support from Baillie Gifford and a number of private sector organisations and individuals.

"Furthermore, the first minister and cabinet secretary have shown a great willingness to explore every option for Scottish Youth Theatre and we are very grateful for their time and efforts and their clear commitment to youth arts in Scotland."

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