Funding of £50,000 is to be made available to increase the number of businesses engaging with the arts.
The new Arts Sponsorshi grant scheme provides match-funding for first-time arts sponsors, or for companies that have not sponsored for at least three years, and is also open to non-Scottish based companies to sponsor arts activities in Scotland.
An arts organisation receiving an eligible business sponsorship grant gets £1 of funding for every £1 of sponsorship through the Scottish Government's New Arts Sponsorship grant scheme, and in doing so, doubles the sponsorship benefits offered to the business.
The success of the grant scheme can be measured by the fact that the first tranche of funding has already been spent and has generated over £300,000 from businesses for the arts in Scotland. The additional £50,000 awarded reflects the commitment to the cultural sector and demonstrates the continued, and indeed, increased efforts to leverage business sponsorship to the arts in the current climate.
Culture Minister Fiona Hyslop said:
"This additional funding demonstrates the Scottish Government's determination to support the arts and encourage involvement from new business sponsors.
"Despite the economic climate, attendances at cultural events and arts venues are holding up well. This is a good time for businesses to benefit from involvement in the arts, with tangible commercial benefits, whether it be branding, customer engagement, heightened community profile or staff development.
"I would encourage businesses throughout Scotland, particularly those in emerging sectors such as the computer games industry, to consider arts sponsorship as a rewarding way of adding value both to their business and to Scottish culture."
Barclay Price, Director at Art & Business Scotland said:
"Research shows that it is those companies that continue to successfully market themselves that recover from periods of recession faster by stealing a march over their competitors, and arts sponsorship is a very cost effective form of promotion.
"Those businesses that engage in arts sponsorship know it to be a rewarding way to promote their brands and services, or engage with their communities. For those companies that have not yet tried it, having the chance to obtain double sponsorship benefits for their investment through this government scheme is a great opportunity."
A current example of successful arts business sponsorship is a grant of £13,000 from the scheme awarded to Inspace, a new public gallery in Edinburgh, leveraging in-kind sponsorship worth £23,000 from Edinburgh-based electronic display company, Pufferfish Ltd towards the costs of exhibitions.
Oliver Collier, CEO of Pufferfish Ltd said:
"Our sponsorship of Inspace at the School of Informatics has been one of real mutual benefit. By providing our own technical and professional expertise to the project the gallery has been able to develop its own artistic and educational goals, and we at Pufferfish have gained enormously through increased profile with new and target audiences.
"At the same time we're benefitting from the School of Informatics research into how people behave and interact with 3D equipment such as ours which is in turn contributing to our own product development. These are the sort of outcomes that you just don't get with standard advertising and promotion."