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What you need to know

Background to Scotland’s Themed Years

Scotland’s Themed Years have been running since 2009 as a way to celebrate a particular side to Scotland that deserves recognition. Some past examples of our celebratory years include the Year of Young People 2018, the Year of History Heritage and Archaeology 2017 and the Year of Innovation Architecture and Design 2016. Following an industry consultation in 2016, Themed Years now take place biennially.

Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022 (YS2022)

2022 was designated Scotland’s Year of Stories. It was a year in which stories inspired by, created, or written in Scotland were 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 gave 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.

A programme of activity was designed and delivered in celebration of the Themed Year to support the nation’s tourism and events sectors. The Year of Stories funded events programme was central to the overall programme of activity delivered as part of the Themed Year.

The Year of Stories 2022 Open Events Fund

A total fund value of £600,000 was made available for eligible events planned to take place across 2022 with individual grants of between £15,000 - £60,000 being offered.

The YS2022 Open Events Fund was designed to support new, creative event proposals and programming that will provide high profile content created especially in response to the 2022 Themed Year opportunity. We have developed a programme that will capture the imagination and help us to tell and to celebrate Scotland’s wealth of unique stories. Successful proposals were required to provide strong engagement opportunities that create key moments across the year capable of driving high levels of media coverage, audience awareness and attendance. Both brand new and one-off events as well as high profile new programme strands created to provide additionality within existing events or festivals specifically for the Themed Year were considered.

Year of Stories 2022 Community Stories Fund

YS2022 Community Stories Fund was designed to support organisations and community groups to take part in and celebrate Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, spotlighting the unique stories that matter to them with new, creative events, activities and programming.

The fund was delivered in partnership between VisitScotland and Museums Galleries Scotland with support from National Lottery Heritage Fund, thanks to National Lottery players.

A total fund value of £300,000 was made available for eligible events planned to take place across 2022. Organisers were able to apply for individual grants of between £500 - £5,000.

This fund is being administered by Museums Galleries Scotland.

Year of Stories 2022 Partner Events Programme

The Year of Stories 2022 Partner Events Programme, a non-funded opportunity to be part of the national campaign, is now closed to applications. Find out what the programme involved Year of Stories Partner Events Programme.

Future Themed Years

Details of the next Themed Year will be confirmed in due course. To enquire about future Themed Years funding and opportunities, please email

Deadline for application

Not currently accepting applications

The Year of Stories Open Events Fund closed to applications on 12 August 2021.

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