CREATIVES in Dundee and its environs will be working together to tackle climate change and social issues and speed up recovery from Covid over the next 18 months, as part of a £300,000 initiative.

CULTIVATE will be delivered across the Tay region – Perth and Kinross, Dundee, North East Fife and Angus – in collaboration with various partners, including Dundee City and Perth and Kinross councils, with the added aim of making the area a more sustainable place to live, work and visit. Practitioners will each work with a community partner to develop “place-based” solutions to boost engagement and capture hearts and minds in their local community.

Workshops, activities and other events will aim to create new ways to respond to local challenges which can then be shared across Tayside.

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Creative Dundee has secured £300,000 of Creative Scotland Culture Collective funding – part of the £6 million Scottish Government emergency Covid-19 fund – to support the programme, which will include projects across the entire Tay region. It aims to create 12 paid opportunities and reach the wider public through a visible high street presence in empty retail units. The creatives will also come together to exchange knowledge, develop their work and trigger new collaborations.

Claire Dufour, creative climate producer, Creative Dundee said: “While the climate crisis presents critical and pressing global issues, each and every one of us has a role to play locally. The power of creativity and design in that drive is immense, attracting attention and engagement, breaking down barriers and sparking new approaches and practical solutions in the process.

“CULTIVATE will present some fantastic opportunities. For the creative practitioners, it’s the chance to bring a community project to life, build their profile, be part of Creative Dundee’s wider network and motivate tangible change.

“For those living and working in that community, it’s the chance to get involved and contribute to a better, fairer and more sustainable society– changes which, however small, could make a lasting impact on their environment and the world we’re passing on to future generations.

“For us, being part of the Culture Collective network is an opportunity to connect the work happening across the Tay region with other creative and climate projects all across Scotland – helping both to share the exciting work happening in the region and to connect it with the learning from initiatives all over the country.

“As the city watches and waits for the Eden Project, this is an exciting time for our city and its surroundings. Communities are really starting to take ownership for their environment, how they live and what they can contribute, and culture and creativity can play a key role in driving that ambition.”

Gary Cameron, Creative Scotland’s interim director, strategy, added: “The Culture Collective provides an opportunity for organisations to explore and test new models of engagement and participation and to learn from each other, whether this is how it provides opportunities and support to Creative Practitioners or how it actively engages communities in its work. Over 250 employment opportunities are being created through the programme, with further opportunities anticipated as each individual programme progresses.”