New direction for professional creative sector in the Scottish Borders

New direction for professional creative sector in the Scottish Borders

A new direction for the professional creative sector network in the Scottish Borders is underway following the appointment of three new roles.

Support from South of Scotland Enterprise, Scottish Borders Council and Creative Scotland has helped create the three Catalyst roles. They will lead the Creative Arts Business Network (CABN) into being independent and sector-led over the next 12 months, transitioning it away from being supported within Live Borders.

CABN has been developing the professional creative sector in the Scottish Borders over the last 13 years through a diverse programme of support. 

The Catalyst appointments

  • The three new appointments see Jessie Growden and Julia Parks take on the roles of Catalysts for Engagement and Felicity Bristow as Catalyst for Transition.
  • The three Catalysts will work collaboratively, with Jessie Growden and Julia Parks focused on ‘front facing’ network engagement and communications.
  • Felicity Bristow is focused on the development of the new CABN model, bringing the legacy and learning of CABN’s work to date - as well as considering the current support available - to inform the way forward. 
  • The Catalysts will also be a point of contact and will provide support and advice for creative individuals and organisations in the Scottish Borders.
  • All three will work with a steering group made up of organisations and creative practitioners in the Borders, as well colleagues in Dumfries & Galloway and the Creative Placemaking Framework project across the South of Scotland, to help develop the sector across the region.

Support for the roles

The Catalysts are supported by Scottish Borders Council (SBC) and Creative Scotland, who have jointly committed £63,000 for the 12 month transition phase of CABN, as well as South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) who have provided £20,000.

In addition, the Catalysts will be supported by the Southern Uplands Partnership who will act as a host organisation to manage external funds and payments for this transition period. 

Mark Geddes, SOSE’s Creative and Cultural Capital Strategy Manager, said:

“The creative and cultural industries sector in the South is a significant one, with over 1,500 enterprises, over 4,600 people employed and an annual turnover of £161.5million.

“This new-look CABN will play a crucial role in developing the sector in the coming years, helping realise the opportunities which are available for creative enterprises in the Scottish Borders, and South of Scotland.”

Mary Morrison, Arts & Creativity, Live Borders said:

“Jessie, Julia and Felicity will bring a fantastic range of skills, experience and energy to these Catalyst roles and I look forward to seeing how the CABN network develops and evolves through their collaborative working.  

“Live Borders welcome the support from Creative Scotland, Scottish Borders Council and South of Scotland Enterprise, not just financially, but in recognising the importance and power of networks in supporting a diverse and dynamic creative sector in the region.”

Councillor Julie Pirone, SBC’s Executive Member for Community and Culture, said:

“I am delighted that through our partnership work we have been able to support these three appointments.

“This is an opportunity to build on the fantastic work of CABN up to now and ensure that this crucial sector can continue to be supported and thrive.”

Karen Dick, Head of Place, Partnerships & Communities, Creative Scotland added:

“In this time of ongoing challenge for the cultural sector, Creative Arts Business Network will continue to play a vital role in supporting the culture and creative sector in the Scottish Borders.

“This is a region with rich cultural heritage and significant potential. We look forward to working with Jessie, Julia and Felicity and all the partners to help realise the opportunities for artists and creative businesses in the region.”