Developing creativity across the Highlands

Highland Youth Arts Hub – A Timeline

2014 – 2016: The Pilot Phase

In 2014, an opportunity arose for consortia of organisations to apply for up to a maximum of £400,000 to develop a new network in Local Authority areas that would bring together arts organisations and youth work organisations.

Fèis Rois led on the bid for Highland and secured the maximum £400,000 for a project from 2014-2016.

This project, for the first time, brought together the two major youth work organisations in the region (High Life Highland and Youth Highland) and 11 key arts organisations to work in new and collaborative ways across a vast geographic area.

During the 3-year pilot phase, these organisations achieved the following (all additional to their core programmes of work):

    • Engaged 5,000 young people in new opportunities.
    • Provided more than 22,000 hours of engagement for these young people;
    • Provided paid employment for more than 200 freelance artists (48% aged 25 or under);
    • Successful delivery of 12 pilot projects;
    • 3 development programmes enabling people to bid for funding to be “creative in their community,” go to see new work or to take part in professional development and training;
    • An annual youth arts showcase and an annual creative careers event.


2017: Evaluation and Strategy Development

Following the successful pilot, 2017 was spent documenting the work delivered. See and working with young people to write an ambitious 10-year Youth Arts Strategy for Highland. See


2018: Year of Young People

The focus for 2018 was on delivering three targeted projects as part of the Scottish Government’s Year of Young People:

HYAHBeò was a partnership project with the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) that saw young people curate a week-long festival across 6 NTS sites. The project attracted £26,000 of funding from NTS and £26,000 of funding from Event Scotland. See:

Historic Environment Scotland (HES) bought in HYAH to deliver two multi art form weeks of activity on its sites at Fort George and Urquhart Castle. This project saw £20,160 of investment from HES. Read more here:

Creative Breaks was a project that saw HYAH partners offer five weekend breaks to 10 young carers from across the Highlands. This £15,700 project saw creative weekends take place in Ullapool, Skye, Fort William, Caithness and at Moniack Mhòr Writing Centre.



Following an incredibly busy year in 2018, 2019 was spent writing up final project reports and applying for funding for new collaborative projects to benefit young people across the Highland region.



During the Covid-19 pandemic, the Highland Youth Arts Hub offered 19 emerging artists the opportunity to benefit from small grants (£1,000 each), 12 hours of one-to-one mentoring with an established artist, and the chance to create a peer support network through a series of Creative Conversations. This project called Creative In Your Community was managed by Fèis Rois.



With support from the Youth Arts Fund, a Scottish Government Covid-19 recovery fund administered by Creative Scotland, Fèis Rois has secured a further £64,820 to bring Highland Youth Arts Hub partner organisations together to deliver a project that provides much-needed paid work to freelance artists and that benefits young people across the Highlands. An Artist in Residence will be embedded in each of the 9 Community Planning Partnership areas of the Highlands.


Since 2014, Fèis Rois has brought in almost £600,000 (£582,680) to work with young people age 25 and under through HYAH activity. This is all additional to the core work of the partner organisations, which also has a significant social, economic and cultural impact.


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