SCOTTISH businesses have been urged to make the most of Scotland’s Year of Young People 2018 by supporting cultural events specifically aimed at improving youth engagement with culture.

The charity Arts & Business Scotland is gearing up for the latest in a series of networking events aiming to bring together representatives from the arts, heritage and business communities to consider the benefits of closer collaboration.

The next event takes place at Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre on June 15 and is titled “Business, Culture and Young People: Working together, creating opportunities”.

Attendees will hear first-hand about three successful partnerships between business and cultural organisations that are delivering cultural projects specifically aimed at Scotland’s young people. Participating businesses and cultural organisations will talk about their experiences of the project and how the partnership has specifically benefited them.

All three projects to be showcased at the event have received support from the Culture & Business Fund Scotland, a programme managed by Arts & Business Scotland and launched in April last year to provide pound-for-pound match funding for business sponsorship of cultural projects.

Richmond Oaks, a Glasgow-based provider of debt advice, has partnered with the Scottish Youth Theatre to support a summer national tour of a specially created theatre production which highlights mental health challenges faced by many young people.

Professional services firm KPMG has partnered with the Scottish Ballet for a second consecutive year to give pupils from Cuthbertson Primary School in Govanhill the opportunity to take part in a series of ballet workshops and to attend a production of Cinderella at Glasgow’s Theatre Royal.

PreSonus, one of the world’s leading makers of digital music audio equipment, has provided in-kind sponsorship to Drake Music Scotland, a charity dedicated to creating opportunities for disabled musicians of all ages.

Commenting ahead of the event, David Watt, Arts & Business Scotland chief executive said: “As public-sector budgets for culture continue to tighten, the business community can play a big part in helping to create new ways for young people to engage with culture as an important route to building their confidence and self-esteem – while also deriving important business benefits such as raising brand awareness and accessing new audiences for their products and services.

“As we celebrate 2018 as Scotland’s Year of Young People, here are three inspiring examples of creative collaboration between business and the cultural sector to deliver projects that are helping to expand the cultural horizons of our young people in three very different ways.”

Catherine Burnet, senior partner for KPMG in Scotland, said: “We were pleased to partner with the Scottish Ballet to give pupils from Cuthbertson Primary School in Govanhill the unique opportunity to experience ballet – both from the perspective of the performer and the audience – an opportunity that they might otherwise never have had. For culture to continue to thrive, we need to give the next generation of young Scots the opportunity to experience the arts and how it can expand their horizons and enrich their lives in a unique way.”