The Stove: Where Does Our Money Come From and How Is It Spent?

The Stove Network is a Scottish Charity working through social enterprise principles. (See below for a list of our Charitable Objectives)

The Stove operates through a mixture of income sources ranging from funding from private and public sources, paid work on commissions and projects, partnership working with other organisations and income from our café and renting space to other projects/organisations. All of this income is directed towards delivery of the Charitable Objectives of The Stove Network.

Currently the only direct grant income we receive is from Creative Scotland. We are one of 121 organisations within the National Network of Regularly Funded Arts Organisations in Scotland who receive revenue support from Creative Scotland. The Stove Network receives £100,000 per year from Creative Scotland (fixed for 3 years – starting April 2018) towards our running costs and programme delivery.

All of our other income is form the mixed sources described above – all funding and income form commissioned work is tied to delivery of specific projects and agreed outcomes for the benefit of the local community. For example our youth project Blueprint100 providing work experience and career development opportunities for young people in the Creative Industries, our Creative Community Development work with people in NW Dumfries and our town centre regeneration work in Dumfries.

We currently receive no direct subsidy from Dumfries and Galloway Council (please also see notes on 100 High Street premises)

In the year 2017-2018 all of the income we generated was spent within the local economy of D+G and the creative/cultural community – providing opportunities, works experience, community development, programming and activities for our local population.

  • We operate with the equivalent of 4.5 full-time Operations & Marketing staff and 2.5 full-time project staff. Of our 23 regular art programme freelancers, 17 are under the age of 28.
  • In addition, our café employs 11 staff, 6 under 25.
  • The Stove Network is a membership organisation, membership is free and open to all, currently we have 470 members who engage with planning and delivery of our activity programme. Membership numbers have doubled in the last 2 years.
  • The Stove has helped to bring life and vitality back into the High Street of Dumfries through a diverse programme of open events and activity.
  • In 2017-18 we delivered 4+ public events per week, more than 4,700 people directly participated in creating projects (up 1,800 since previous year) and total audience figures were over 9,500.  Over 150 groups/organisations collaborated on projects.
  • The Stove Network has attracted Young Returners to the region, creating paid opportunities and engaging activity for young people.
  • 8 members of Blueprint100, our creative group for young people under 30 years of age, gained places in Higher Education to pursue creative careers; 5 members have become self-employed creatives in the region.
  • The Stove won Scottish Regeneration (SURF) Award for Creative Regeneration 2016.
  • A recent HMIE Inspectors Report for Community Learning and Development highlighted the activity of The Stove Network: ‘The Stove Network run a well-used café, workshop and gallery space providing employment for over 20 people. They are instrumental in developing innovative plans for re-generating the town centre. The organisation works well with partners and is engaging with high numbers of local people.’
  • 4 new arts/community organisations have grown under TSN, are based at 100 High Street and deliver programming for TSN: EAFS (Environmental Art Festival Scotland), DMC (Dumfries Music Conference), D-Lux (Festival of Lighting in Dumfries) and Dumfries High Street Limited (trading as ‘Midsteeple Quarter’)
  • In March 2016 The Stove Network was recognised as the Community Development Trust for Dumfries by Development Trust Association Scotland. As Community Development Trust for Dumfries town centre we work in ongoing partnership with diverse local groups who all mix their activity with ours to effectively co-create activities and opportunities in the town.
  • The Stove initiated a partnership project looking at the major redevelopment of a key location in the High Street – the Midsteeple Quarter – which has resulted in a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of the West of Scotland, NHS Dumfries and Galloway and Loreburn Housing Association, and support from Scottish Government and Dumfries and Galloway Council. This has now launched as a Community Benefit Society in its own right.
  • The Stove runs the Creative Futures project in Lincluden and Lochside – a 4 Year Big Lottery Funded TSN ‘outpost’ in housing estates including mentorship, 3.5 year full time post and skills development programme.
  • Ongoing partnerships have developed with three international arts organisations: Vestfold Kunstsenter (Tonsberg, Norway), BRG Collective (Braga, Portugal) and Ljistijosi (Iceland) – current Creative Europe bid for 4-way artist exchange project with these organisations.

Our Charitable aims are:

(a)To promote the arts including drama, dance, music, literature, poetry, painting, film making, photography and sculpture and other art forms and areas of artistic endeavour, and in particular (but without prejudice to the generality of that aim) with a view to the involvement of local communities within Dumfries and Galloway and surrounding regions

(b)To collaborate and form partnerships with individuals or organisations to benefit the wider community through the arts.

(c)To support community initiatives within Dumfries and Galloway and surrounding areas using the arts.

(d)To use the arts to promote the benefits of social welfare of the inhabitants within Dumfries and Galloway and surrounding regions, without distinction with regard to age, disability, gender, sexuality, political, religious or other opinions by associating the local statutory authorities, voluntary organisations and local people.

The Creative Industries: Why Are They Important?

The Creative Industries contribute £3.7 billion to the Scottish economy, £87 billion UK wide. This represents a steady increase since 2010.

In 2015 the Creative Industries employed 73,600 people – a 2.5% increase on 2014 and a 15% increase since 2011.

The Creative Industries is now larger than Life Sciences and sustainable tourism in terms of GVA and employs more people than the Energy sector.

In Dumfries and Galloway Creative Industries is the best recovering sector since the 2008 crash and is in the top 5 economic sectors in the region.

The Creative Industries sector is dominated by small enterprises with 58% of the 14,590 registered enterprises having zero employees (i.e. are sole traders) and 87% in total have less than five employees.

Over 98% of Creative Industries businesses operating in Scotland are registered in Scotland.

– Scottish Government Growth Sector Statistics, October 2016

The Story of The Stove building at 100 High Street

In 2007 Dumfries and Galloway Chamber of Commerce (DGCoC) were granted £750,000 by Scottish Govt for a project called ‘Showcase Dumfries’. The principle of the project was to purchase an empty shop building and convert it for a cultural use, with the aim of providing a new attraction in the town centre that would draw additional footfall for the benefit of other businesses. This was a ‘capital’ grant meaning that money could only be spent purchasing a building and carrying out physical alterations (i.e. no money for running costs and staffing).

DGCoC bought 100 High Street and carried out an initial refit, though, at this stage there was no delivery plan about who would run the building and what would happen in it. The Stove did not exist at this stage of the project and had no part in any decision making about how the initial £750,000 grant was spent.

After the initial refit as ‘Showcase Dumfries’ 100 High Street remained empty, until, in 2011 DGCoC made a public announcement that they were unable to deliver on the cultural project and proposed running 100 High St as a shop instead.

In 2011 The Stove was formed by local artists and creative professionals – they presented an idea to DGCoC for running 100 High St as a public arts centre. Dumfries and Galloway Council (DGC) supported the aims of the Stove project as it was in line with Council objectives regarding young people, economic development of the creative industries sector and promoting additional footfall and activity in the town centre.

The Stove vision for 100 High Street required additional alteration works, notably provision of a lift and accessible toilets etc. It was decided that the best way to deliver these additional works was in partnership with DGC. To facilitate this, the ownership of 100 High Street was transferred by DGCoC to DGC at zero cost. The Stove raised finance of £150,000 (from Creative Scotland and Holywood Trust) towards the second re-fit and DGC contributed £80,000 from their Accessibility Fund.

This working partnership was based on a business plan presented by Stove and accepted by DGC, through which The Stove would sustainably run the building for the public, deliver employment opportunities and provide accessible programming through events and activities in the town centre. In this agreement DGC agreed to provide a 25 year lease at £1 per year, £20,000 grant towards running costs for 3 years (ended April 2018) and a rebate on Non-Domestic Rates.

The second re-fit of 100 High Street was completed in April 2015 and The Stove opened to the public and have run the building since.

Currently, The Stove receives no revenue funding from DGC. The Stove does work in partnership with DGC to deliver some of its projects with agreed specific outcomes and receives project grants for particular pieces of work delivered for the local community (e.g. Nithraid River Festival).

The Stove Network and Dumfries and Galloway Council

The Stove does not receive any regular subsidy from Dumfries and Galloway Council. It has received grants to deliver specific projects based on the public benefit they provide for our local community.

For every £1 received from DGC, The Stove has been able to generate a further £4.62 for the local economy from other sources.

In 2017-218 The Stove was able to offer £212,000 as contracts and commissions to the Creative Industries sector in D+G.

DGC highlights Creative Industries within its key priorities for the Regional Economic Development Strategy. 90% of businesses in D+G employ less than 10 people, this is typical of the Creative sector. Creative Industries is in the top five economic sectors in Dumfries and Galloway. The Stove is recognised as a key hub for the Creative sector in Dumfries and Galloway.