Bonnie Banchory has been shortlisted alongside nine other Scottish towns in the Creative Communities Award 2015.
The Deeside town will go up against Fort William and Stornoway in the £125k category of the awards, Creative Scotland announced last week.
This is exciting news. Banchory has done exceptionally well to be shortlisted.Cllr Karen Clark
Since their launch in 2012, the Creative Place Awards have been awarded to smaller communities across Scotland, outside of the main cities, to enable them to enhance and promote the creative activities and programmes in their area. The awards recognise the communities’ ambitions in using the arts for the benefit of both local residents and visitors to their area.
A Creative Scotland Award is both an accolade and a grant, with the winning communities receiving funding of either £50,0000, £100,000 or £125,000.
The shortlisted communities hoping for £50,000 are Aberfeldy, Bathgate and Moniave, while Forres, the Isle of Arran and Loch Lomond & Trossachs National Park are competing for £100,000 grants.
In Banchory, the award will be used to support a four-stranded programme that will continue to place artists and creativity at the forefront of exploring the town’s identity.
Activities include: Banchory Stories - recording and preserving creative stories from local residents and creating and staging a new community play; Love Banchory - a multi-artform project involving the collation and creation of works relating to Banchory’s identity as a holiday destination; River Festival - an existing festival which features local artists and musicians; and Town Artists – to build a team of artists in Banchory to devise and oversee projects throughout the year.
Fellow finalist Fort William would use the award tp create a series of interwoven art and arboreal projects, at the heart of which is The Liberty Grove / Doire na Saorsa, a planting of 1,000 native trees throughout the region.
Stornoway and the surrounding villages would use the award for a programme to present and profile a route of artistic and cultural experiences into, throughout and beyond the town, so that Stornoway becomes a recognised gateway to the creative community of the Outer Hebrides.
The winners will be announced at an awards ceremony on Wednesday, June 10, at Falkirk Town Hall. Falkirk has been selected as the host of this year’s awards after winning a Creative Place Award in 2014.
Janet Archer, chief executive at Creative Scotland, said: “Congratulations to the nine places shortlisted for this year’s Creative Place Awards. We received a number of high calibre applications from across Scotland, and for our panel selecting the final shortlist was no easy feat
“Previous winners are a positive example of how much is going on across Scotland.”
Local councillor Karen Clark said of the announcement: “This is exciting news. Banchory has done exceptionally well to be shortlisted for a Creative Place Award when you see the high calibre applications they are competing against.
“We already have the hub of creativity that is Woodend Barn and the artists DUFI who are creating a Banchory cultural identity and working to enliven Scott Skinner Square. We are doing a great job already, collaborating with many different partners to put us on the cultural map and this would be a major step forward.
‘‘As someone who believes passionately that the arts can enrich our lives, I am delighted that Banchory’s ambitions have been recognised.
“This community has the creative ideas and talent to deliver so I wish them the best of luck at the awards in June.”