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17/09/2007

Screen Companies Get £165,000 From Skillset

Scottish film, television and interactive media production companies have been given more than £167,000 in grants in the last three months with a further £332,000 to be distributed in the next six months, Skillset Scotland announced yesterday.
The money from the Skillset Scotland Training Fund (SSTF) will be used to help Scottish companies and freelancers invest in training and skills development to ensure the Scottish screen and audio visual industries keep abreast of rapid technological change by developing creative, efficient businesses that will keep Scotland at the forefront of global competitiveness.
Skillset Scotland will distribute a further £332,000 in grants before March 31, 2008, and is calling for companies and individuals to apply for funding.
The total pay-out in grants and funding by Skillset Scotland will total half a million pounds. The fund has three main streams through which money can be accessed – company development, continuing professional development, and training bursaries for individuals.
In the most recent round of funding by Skillset Scotland, four companies were awarded grants of between £9000 and £10,000 for company development. The companies were Clarity Productions (£10,000), Hopscotch Films (£10,000), AVC Media (£10,000), MNE (£10,000), and Viscom Aberdeen Limited (£9053).
Since March, £82,623 in grants has been distributed for continuing professional development. These grants went to Pact (£10,807), Screen Academy Scotland (£30,504), Bona Broadcasting (£11,312), and GMAC (£30,000).
More than £35,000 has been awarded in training bursaries for individuals.
Skillset Scotland Director Alasdair Smith said the grants were directly related to an improvement of skills of workers in the audio visual industries.
"Skills is very much on the agenda in Scotland, particularly so with the establishment of a Scottish Broadcasting Commission. The continued economic viability and excellent reputation enjoyed by the Scottish screen and audio visual industries is indisputably linked to skills development and continuing professional development of our people. Skills, training and development are the solid foundation upon which a prosperous future can be built," Mr Smith said.
"Skillset – as the Sector Skills Council for the Audio Visual Industries – is passionate about developing our workforce and young people to ensure our people have rewarding and fulfilling careers in creative industries that are at the forefront of innovation, creativity and global competitiveness."
Training providers wanting to apply for grants of up to £120,000 must do so by Monday, November 12, 2007. Companies wanting to apply for grants of up to £10,000 for company training plans must submit applications four weeks before sittings of the Skillset Investment Panel. The panel next sits on September 25, November 13 and December 10, 2007; and, finally, on January 8, 2008.
Freelancers can apply for training bursary grants (training course fees, accommodation and travel) of up to £2500 on an on-going basis until March 31, 2008.
The Skillset Scotland Training Fund is financed by the National Lottery through Scottish Screen and is managed by Skillset on behalf of Scottish Screen. It delivers on the Sector Skills Agreement for Scotland - a Skills Strategy for television, film and interactive media.
More information of how to apply for Skillset Scotland funding can be found at www.skillset.org/uk/scotland/trainingfund/
(SP)
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