ST ANDREWS is celebrating a six-figure cash windfall which will be used to promote the town’s rich cultural and creative reputation.
Part of the Year of Creative Scotland 2012, the Creative Place Awards recognise the hard work and imagination contributing to the diverse cultural life of a community, as well as its social and economic wellbeing.
St Andrews has received £150,000 as winner in the category for places with fewer than 100,000 residents, beating off competition from the runners-up, Irvine and Perth.
The university town is hosting its own Year of Celebration in 2012 and the award will allow it to promote its already varied cultural programme to visitors and to support a new community musical theatre production as the year’s centrepiece.
The St Andrews bid was prepared jointly by the Byre Theatre - Scotland’s only five-star arts attraction - and the St Andrews Partnership, with a range of other creative partners also involved.
The money will fund the major new drama production, entitled MacPherson’s Rant, and will also support a range of collaborative marketing efforts throughout 2012 and the lasting legacy of a new shared administrative base for local cultural organisations.
A delighted Jacqueline McKay, chief executive of the Byre, told the Citizen: ”It’s official, St Andrews is the most creative place in Scotland 2012. We are very pleased that the vision and ambition behind our bid was recognised by the judging panel.
“St Andrews is a very special place. Our location in Fife has international appeal and our ability to programme high-calibre arts experiences for all ages, town residents and UK and international visitors alike has been recognised.
“In St Andrews we have been growing a range of diverse, high-calibre creative and performing arts festivals across the calendar year, many in partnership with and produced by the Byre. The St Andrews-based festivals are all individually strong in their own right.
“The Byre as the town’s creative agent is looking forward to supporting the wider promotion of St Andrews as the Creative Place of 2012’’
Patrick Laughlin, manager of the St Andrews Partnership, added;”This is great news and a big boost for the St Andrews Year of Celebration. It will help to bring together all of the existing festivals and create a long-term legacy of a cultural resource.”
Roderick Campbell, MSP for north east Fife, said:”St Andrews has, for generations, been a great attraction to tourists from the UK, and abroad, and so to hear that the prize money will be used to promote the cultural programme of the town to these visitors is very encouraging.’’