BUSINESSES in Argyll and Bute are being given the chance to hear about how they can benefit from creative partnerships formed with the cultural community.

Roadshow events in Dunoon and Rothesay next week are the latest in a series hosted by Arts & Business Scotland to promote its Culture and Business Fund Scotland (CBFS) programme, which provides match funding for business sponsorship of arts or heritage projects.

Businessman David White will outline how his international freight company IFS Worldwide benefited from its award-winning partnership with Cultural Documents, whose director, Deirdre MacKenna, will described how it won the award for most innovative international collaboration from Arts & Business Scotland in 2016.

Their partnership became the first in Argyll to secure funding from the CBFS initiative.

MacKenna has also successfully devised a new creative partnership between cultural groups the Oban Community Trust and the Rockfield Centre and local businesses Glenburnie House and Hazelbank Motors.

Arts & Business Scotland manages the CBFS, which was launched in 2017. It is funded by the Scottish Government via Creative Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland (HES). In its first year, the programme invested more than £260,000 to support 38 creative partnerships. During this time every £1 of CBFS investment leveraged £1.41 in business sponsorship, creating a total investment of £645,698 into partnerships throughout Scotland.

The Dunoon and Rothesay events will enable local arts and heritage organisations to attend an afternoon workshop giving them real life examples of successful partnerships between business and the cultural sector as well as practical advice on how to apply to the CBFS.

Early evening receptions will be open to cultural organisations and local businesses for networking opportunities and will feature talks from White and MacKenna. Since CBFS was launched, the roadshow has visited locations across Scotland as far-reaching as Aberdeen, Benbecula, Oban, Paisley and Shetland.

“As a businessman, I’m really looking forward to having the opportunity to share with other local businesses my own positive experience of collaborating with the cultural sector,” said White.

“Three years on, the partnership with Cultural Documents continues to deliver benefits to my business and it’s something I’m really pleased to have done.

“Based on that experience, I’d have no hesitation in encouraging other businesses that might be considering a partnership with the cultural sector to take the plunge.”

Carl Watt, from Arts & Business Scotland, added: “For local cultural organisations, these events are a great opportunity to find out more about the CBFS programme and how to apply and to draw inspiration from past successful examples of business and cultural collaboration, both locally and throughout Scotland.

“I’d also encourage local businesses to take advantage of the opportunity to come along to one of our free evening drinks receptions, to broaden your network and to hear first-hand from David White how closer collaboration with the cultural sector has benefited his business.”