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Year of Stories 2022 - Community Stories Fund

Organisations and groups working with communities can apply for up to £5000 to take part in and celebrate Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, with new, creative events, activities and programming, spotlighting stories inspired by, created, or written in Scotland.

About Scotland's Year of Stories 2022

a logo stating "Year of Stories 2022" in black text

2022 has been designated Scotland’s Year of Stories. This will be a year in which stories inspired by, created, or written in Scotland will be showcased and celebrated.

The love of stories is hardwired into us all; it is one of the strongest ways we connect with one another and share our experiences. Great stories, well told, can evoke indelible images in our minds and bring contemporary and traditional cultures to life. Every culture has its stories to tell, and Scotland has a particularly rich heritage of stories and storytelling to spotlight and celebrate. These include our local tales, oral traditions, great stories told in books or on screen – all inspired by our country, our culture and reflected back by many diverse voices and across the widest range of forms. Stories are vital to every part of Scotland. Every community has its own tales to tell, places to highlight as inspiration for well-known books and films, visitor attractions that showcase our literary and storytelling heritage and all kinds of places and spaces where stories, old and new, can be enjoyed.

Scotland’s stories reflect who we are and shape how others see us. 2022 gives us the opportunity to work in partnership to further harness this powerful means to engage and thereby inspire locals and visitors to discover, celebrate and share their own stories of Scotland.

About the fund

The Community Stories Fund will support organisations and community groups to take part in and celebrate Scotland’s Year of Stories, spotlighting the unique stories that matter to them with new, creative events, activities and programming. 

Applicants are invited to respond to any of the five, cross cutting Year of Stories 2022 (YS22) programme strands:


Across literature, screen and entertainment, YS22 will celebrate and showcase Scotland’s wealth of treasured and iconic stories and storytellers from classics to the contemporary.


We want to shout about Scotland’s new and untold stories. YS22 will shine a light on emerging, fresh and forward-looking talent and highlight the innovators that break boundaries across all forms of storytelling.


Our people and places have inspired the widest range of stories and storytellers across the world. YS22 will promote how Scotland’s diverse culture, languages, landscapes and ways of life, urban and rural, provide a source for all types and forms of stories, encouraging visitors and audiences to find out more. 


Every community has its distinct tales to tell, stories of now and those passed through the generations. These are the stories we tell ourselves and share with others to make sense of time and place. YS22 will provide the opportunity for every part of Scotland to tell its story. 


Our encounters with nature are an unfailing source of stories, old and new. Whether by the sea or land, along rivers or through woods, in city and country, we discover stories of birds, insects, animals and plants. Stories that connect us to the natural world can help create a more sustainable future for Scotland, and a greener planet.

This fund is being delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland (MGS) with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players, to enable the themed year to have an increased impact throughout the country and support local attractions, museums, venues, artists, creatives and tourism networks.

Museums Galleries Scotland is administering the fund on behalf of the partnership.

Following awards made from the first round of funding, we will be particularly interested in seeing the following types of application in order to balance the overall programme:

  • Activity taking place in Clackmannanshire, East Ayrshire, East Dunbartonshire, Inverclyde, North Ayrshire or West Lothian. 

  • Events that focus on the theme of iconic stories and storytellers

  • Projects that represent a diversity of voices, including those from multicultural, disabled or LGBTQ+ communities

Who can apply for this funding?

You can apply if you are an organisation or group working with communities providing you:

  • Are not for profit AND
  • Are formally constituted, with some form of governing document AND
  • Have a bank account in the name of the formally constituted organisation.

You will be asked to supply information with your application, such as your constitution document and a copy of a recent bank statement, to enable us to verify your eligibility for funding.

What we can fund

Your proposal must involve public facing activities and events taking place in Scotland during 2022, either in person, virtual or hybrid.

We will support activities that are accessible and inclusive and, where a charge exists - affordable, and that contribute to community wellbeing in the context of Covid-19 recovery. Applicants can apply for both brand new and one-off ideas as well as proposals to create additionality within existing activities or events especially for the Themed Year.

Costs that can be supported include: 

  • Fees for speakers/performers/artists/workshop leaders 
  • Materials and equipment for activities such as workshop consumables, resources for trails 
  • Venue hire 
  • Hire of event equipment (eg. marquees, AV) 
  • Production costs including technical support and recordings 
  • Resource development such as small-scale exhibition costs 
  • Staff time to prepare and deliver activity where additional hours are required 
  • Volunteer expenses 
  • Other materials and equipment to ensure compliance with Covid guidelines 

Please note that we will be looking to support activity that promotes sustainable development practices and wherever possible uses local suppliers.

For further information about what we will be looking for in your application, please refer to our Assessment Criteria section below.

What we cannot fund

  • Core business costs or overheads
  • Full cost recovery
  • Hospitality costs, capital infrastructure costs or acquisitions of collections
  • Delivery of activity that has already started, or will start before our published decision date
  • Any more than 5% contingency
  • Events that are already supported through EventScotland’s Year of Stories Open Events Fund
  • More than one application per site

Please note that the fund is not designed to augment previously announced Scottish Government Covid-19 business support schemes.


You can apply for any amount between £500 and £5,000.

When to apply

The first funding round will be for activity taking place in the first half of 2022 or throughout the year.

The application deadline is 5pm on 1 October 2021.  

Applicants will be notified of decisions by 12 November 2021.

The second funding round will be for activity taking place in the second half of 2022 and will open for application from 24 January 2022.

The application deadline is 5pm on 18 March 2022

Applicants will be notified of decisions by 29 April 2022.

You will have to apply through MGS’s application portal. If you have never applied to MGS before, you must register before you can begin to make an application, which can take two working days. Please see instructions in How to apply below.

How to apply


Please read the guidance on this page carefully, including the information about assessment criteria shown below, before beginning an application. For ease of use a PDF of this guidance is available in the supporting documents section of this page. It contains information on how we will use your personal data. 

You must complete an application form on MGS Online. Many applicants to this fund will never have applied to MGS before and if that is true for you, please note that you will have to complete a very simple registration form before you can begin an application. You will find an Organisation Registration Form in the Supporting Documents section at the bottom of this page; complete this and email it to by Friday 11th March at the latest. You will be emailed to advise when your registration is complete, and you cannot start an online application until this is done.

If you have previously applied to MGS for funds, you can start an application straight away via the link below. 

A guide to using MGS online and a PDF of the application form (for reference only) are also available to download in the Supporting Documents section at the bottom of this page. Any applicants experiencing technical issues with MGS Online should email:

Apply via MGS Online

Assessment criteria

All applications will be assessed against the following criteria:

  • The strength of concept – we are looking for creative ideas that will spotlight, celebrate and promote the wealth of stories inspired by, written, or created in Scotland. 
  • How well your activity will support locals and visitors to engage with Scotland’s unique heritage and explore the places, people and cultures connected to all forms of our stories, past and present, with consideration of your approach to accessibility and inclusivity. 
  • Viability: sufficient planning, marketing, financial administration and other necessary experience and skills required to deliver the activity successfully. Note that we will be looking at how you will manage risk around Covid-19 and what contingency you will have in place. All successful applicants will be required to commit to following the Scottish Government Events Sector Guidance and any other relevant guidance.

We expect the fund to be competitive and, once applications have been assessed according to the above criteria, we will prioritise projects that do one or more of the following: 

  • Celebrate stories that are unique to specific communities across Scotland. 
  • Create new opportunities for artists, storytellers and creative talent.
  • Promote emerging or undiscovered talent.
  • Focus on multicultural communities, people that have recently made Scotland their home and young people.
  • Celebrate our indigenous languages.
  • Enable partnerships.

Looking across the applications received we will ensure that we fund a range of activity including: 

  • A wide geographical and calendar spread of events (no more than one application per site is expected).
  • An appropriate mix of live in-person and digital opportunities to engage with the overall programme.
  • Representation of a diversity of voices.
  • Contribution to balance across the five programme strands including celebrations of stories from the past as well as the sharing of new stories of Scotland.

If you are successful

If your application is successful, you will receive an offer of award letter in digital format, which you will need to formally accept, thereby entering into a funding agreement with us. This letter will set out the full terms and conditions of the funding.

You will be expected to participate in VisitScotland’s Themed Year Marketing and PR campaign and to collect information about your activities so that you can report project outcomes.

Payment of the grant will be made on formal acceptance of any award offered and you will be asked to provide evidence of project expenditure with your final report.   

We have put together full guidance on how to manage your grant through MGS Online from accepting your award to submitting your final report.  Please see the document “Guidance for successful applicants” below. 


Our Grants Team are available at:

Please note, for technical support with using MGS Online, you should email


Additional Information

The Year of Stories works closely with a wide range of partners. Applicants should also be aware of existing potential funding opportunities related to our Stories theme from partner organisations. For example:

  • Live Literature is a Scotland-wide programme that helps fund and support author events in communities all over the country. Applications are now open for events taking place until 31 March 2022.
  • Book Week Scotland is an annual celebration of books and reading that takes place across the country each November. The festival invites organisations to apply for a grant of up to £500 to plan and deliver their Book Week Scotland event or activity.  Applications for grants for the 2022 edition will be invited from March 2022. Join the Scottish Book Trust newsletter for updates: