Eilidh’s Trust supports two thousand young musicians across Scotland

eilidh macleod, credit piping press

Charity breaks through £100,000 barrier for total value of grants awarded so far

Over 2000 young musicians across Scotland are set to benefit in the latest round of grants from the music charity established in memory of 14-year-old Manchester Arena victim Eilidh MacLeod from the Outer Hebrides. 

Details of the charity’s 2024 funding round have been released and show that a total of 52 individuals and groups from Orkney to Dumfries are benefiting from support of over £43,000. Almost 70 applications for support were received, the highest number ever submitted during a funding call.  This takes the total number of grants made since the trust was established in 2018 to over 100 and their combined value to over £100,000. 

Eilidh’s Trust was established in memory of the talented musician from the Isle of Barra who died in the Manchester Arena attack in May 2017. The trust supports music education for young people reflecting Eilidh’s own love of music and her musical ability and enjoyment as a piper with the local pipe band. The trust will also manage and maintain a permanent memorial to Eilidh and a garden of remembrance and reflection on Barra.  

Recipients range from choirs, pipe bands and trad musicians to cellists, brass bands and classical pianists. Eilidh’s Trust funding will be used in a variety of ways including instrument purchases and travel and accommodation to attend competitions and festivals. It will also be critical in maintaining access to affordable or free music tuition by removing barriers for those whose financial situation would normally force them to stop participating in lessons and music activities.

Trust founder Suzanne White said: “We are beyond thrilled to make this funding available to support 2000 young musicians across Scotland. The funding will make a considerable impact to the skills and confidence of those we are supporting and have a positive impact on the future of Scotland’s music scene across many disciplines and genres. We’re delighted to be a part of that and building Eilidh’s legacy through these young people and ensuring financial barriers to tuition are being reduced or removed all together. 

“We are a small grants charity and to have gone through the £100,000 barrier is more than we ever imagined when we set out in 2018. This just shows that Eilidh’s story has the power to make a positive change in the future. We are delighted that we are able to do this for her.” 

One recipient is Katie Robertson of Carnoustie, who is also known as The Wheeled Piper. She said: “The Eilidh’s Trust’s support is absolutely invaluable to help me to continue tuition to hone my piping to the best of my abilities. I face health challenges daily but music is the medicine that gets me through. Thank you so much Eilidh’s Trust.”

Fife’s Cupar Youth Café has also received a grant. Project Coordinator Gemma Frail said: “We are delighted to receive funding from Eilidh’s Trust to help support our Music Space Project. This investment will allow us the opportunity to continue to offer free music tuition as well as space and time for young musicians to take part in top quality musical activities locally. We are grateful for this investment from Eilidh’s Trust and offer a massive thank you on behalf of the young people at Cupar Youth Cafe and Music Space.”

Janette Cargill of the Isle of Isle of Skye Youth Pipe Band commented: We are delighted to be receiving a grant from the Eilidh MacLeod Memorial Trust. The band is growing in numbers, so this grant will help to cover some of the cost of getting kilts made for our new members. Thank you very much for supporting us.”

Hagen Patterson, Director of Dumfries Music Collective responded to their grant: “We are beyond delighted to be awarded funding from the Eilidh MacLeod Memorial Trust. This award will bolster our DMC Futures programme which will see the addition of two more mentorship opportunities for young, local creatives in Dumfries & Galloway. “

Kirsten Abioye of Lothian Children’s Deaf Club said: “Part of what we aim to do through the club is offer deaf children opportunities to connect via accessible, shared experiences. Through this incredible grant from Eilidh’s Trust, we can bring in deaf musicians to show and teach the children about the enriching joys of music in a way that is fully accessible to them, as well as opening the door of potential for their future! We are so grateful to Eilidh’s Trust for this opportunity.”

Full list of grant recipients:

Highlands and Islands
Lewis & Harris Youth Pipe BandPiping
Megan, Isle of Skye (individual grant)*Flute
Sir E Scott Mod committee, Isle of HarrisGaelic Choral
The Skye Youth Pipe BandPiping
Lewis Pipe Band, Isle of LewisPiping
Your Space Music Lessons, North UistPiano
Ceolach (Oban & Lorn Gaelic Youth Choir)Gaelic Choral
Air Ghleus, Isle of Mull and KilchoanGaelic song
West Mainland Strathspey & Reel Society (Juniors), OrkneyTrad music
Feis an Tairbeart, Tarbert, Loch FyneTrad music
Feis air an Oir, North SutherlandTrad music
Meur Loch Abar, Lochaber Gaelic song
Lochaber Pipe BandPiping
Sgoil Bhagh a Chaisteil Drummers, Isle of BarraPiping percussion
Oban and Lorn Youth Pipe Band AssociationPiping
Fèis Latharna, ArgyllTrad music
Comunn Eachdraidh Bharraigh agus Bhatarsaigh, Isle of BarraAccordion 
Mull Junior Mòd ClubGaelic song
Mac-Talla Tutoring, DunoonFiddle
Frederick Wood, Highland Perthshire (individual grant)Classical Piano
Zoe, Isle of Lewis (individual grant)*Choral
North East, Tayside and Fife
Cupar and Dist Pipe Band, FifePiping
Cupar Youth Café, FifeRange of music making classes
Freyja, Aberdeenshire (individual grant)*Oboe
North East Community Music, AberdeenshireOrchestral
Deeside Cello Project, AberdeenshireCello
Culter and District Pipe Band, AberdeenPiping
Dundee City Pipe BandPiping
Arwen, Fife (individual grant)*Violin
Katie Robertson, Angus (individual grant)Piping
Central Scotland
Star Harmonies, West LothianMusical theatre
Clydesdale Community Concert Band, CarlukeWind and percussion
Dalmellington Brass AcademyBrass
Renfrewshire Schools Pipe BandPiping
Croy Silver BandBrass
East Ayrshire Pipe Band AcademyPiping
East Glasgow Music SchoolRange of music making classes
Lothian Children’s Deaf ClubRange of music making classes
Goven Schools & Community Pipe BandPiping
Lanark & District Pipe BandPiping
Stirling Gang ShowSinging/choral
Bothwell Futures, South LanarkshireRange of music making classes
Riverside Primary School, GlasgowStrings
Coalburn Brass Band, South LanarkshireBrass
12 Guitars Ltd, GlasgowGuitars
Maria Ludkin-Finnie, AyrshireClarinet
Inspiration Youth Choir, GlasgowChoral
Fever Pitch Academy, North LanarkshireMusical theatre
Lewis Blackwood, Larbert (individual grant)Percussion
Heather McCann Music, West LothianRange of music making classes
South Scotland
Dumfries Music CollectiveRange of music making classes and mentoring
South West of Scotland Piping & Drumming AcademyPiping

* denotes a primary or early secondary school age recipient whose surname we have withheld.