Is this Scotland’s most creative place?

Villages on the Rosneath Peninsula have been shortlisted in Scotland’s national Creative Place awards.

The Creative Scotland project, now in its second year, offers £50,000 for the winners in three categories.

And a bid by the Rosneath Peninsula West Development Trust has reached the final five in the under 2,500 residents category.

If successful, the money would be used to support  community arts events for residents in and visitors to the villages of Cove, KIlcreggan, Portkil, Peaton and Ardpeaton.

Trust convener Murdo MacDonald said a team would bid to a Creative Scotland jury on Monday, with winners being announced in January.

“We’re building on what’s already being done here,” he said.

“We are not trying to do something that is a shot in the dark – it is on a very solid foundation both financially and creatively.”

The trust organised a successful Sea Change Festival this summer, which Mr MacDonald said was the latest in a series of cultural landmarks for the area including the takeover by the community of Cove Burgh Hall ten years ago, stronger community links with Cove Park and the launch of the trust in 2010.

“Our idea is to try and make the Sea Change festival better as part of a process which ranges from the National Theatre of Scotland to country dancing,” he said.

“in 2013 we want to take it to the next level, which is building on the activities that we have got but extending them through the whole year.

“If we don’t get the grant we won’t be able to do the most aspirational things but we will still go on.”

The small communities on the Firth of Clyde are home to a remarkable variety of professional artists and performers, covering painting, sculpting, drama, film, poetry and music.

“Over the last few years we have had an injection of creative talent here – and it across all the arts,” said Mr MacDonald.

“We have got really top people here – like Christine Borland, who was nominated for the Turner prize, Christine McArthur and Gregor Smith – and it is across the board.”

With 54 active organizations in the area including film and literary societies, a choir, an art group, a weavers group and a community-run library, the Creative Place money would be spread across a wide range of projects including:

  • An expanded Sea Change festival including concert, schools programmes, exhibition and recital
  • Children’s theatre
  • Garden symposiums
  • Special film screenings
  • An enhanced programme of talks, debates and lectures at the literary society
  • A wonderland convention, exhibition and cultural exchange
  • The creation of local history and children’s storytelling archives at Cove library
  • Annual art exhibitions
  • Professional voice coaching and musical accompaniment for the Peninsula Choir
  • A festival concert

The other communities shortlisted are Gatehouse of Fleet and the Glenkens in Dumfries & Galloway, Pathhead in Midlothian and Unst in the Shetland Islands.