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PRESS RELEASE Unprecedented demand creates a sell-out at this year’s SKILL UP conference, Scotland’s largest training and networking conference for youth performing arts practitioners. Make sure your first paragraph says everything you want to say in a clear and concise manner.

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SKILL UP, Promote YT’s annual training and networking conference for the youth performing arts sector is the only event of its kind in Scotland. Now in its seventh year SKILL UP will be staged in the Scottish Borders for the first time at the Eastgate Theatre, Peebles from the 25– 27 March thanks to funding from Creative Scotland and Scottish Borders Council. Demand for places has been higher than ever with delegate passes selling out 6 weeks prior to the event, a first for SKILL UP.

Over a 110 artists and youth theatre practitioners from across the country will be joined by delegates from as far afield as Germany, Denmark and Ireland to share work and engage in a broad range of professional development opportunities including panelled auditorium discussions and work group sessions. The conference launches on Friday 25March with a performance of ‘Real Men Dream In Black And White’ a co-production between the National Theatre of Scotland and East Renfrewshire Youth Theatre. SKILL UP 2011 is delivered by Promote YT, the Edinburgh-based national support and development body for youth theatre in Scotland. The organisation promotes and develops youth theatre locally, nationally and internationally not only to nurture artists and audiences of tomorrow, but also to provide an accessible form of social and cultural development for Scotland’s young people. Tens of thousands of young people from diverse backgrounds are engaged in youth theatre each week throughout Scotland. Ken Stott, Promote YT’s Patron said, “From drama groups in local village halls to large youth theatres run by theatre professionals, Promote YT is working hard to ensure every young person across Scotland can access, a quality, safe and enjoyable theatre experience”.

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SKILL UP is now in its seventh year having launched in 2005. The event travels around Scotland to different venues each year and has previously been held at Pitlochry Theatre, Perth and Kinross, Scottish Youth Theatre, Glasgow, Craigmonie Centre, Highlands, Perth Concert Hall, Carnegie Collage, Fife and Eden Court, Inverness. In addition to SKILL UP Promote YT produces events throughout the year including their most significant contribution to the sector, the National Festival of Youth Theatre, an annual event of cultural importance engaging young people, leading artistic organisations and audiences from throughout Scotland in a celebration of youth performing arts. - - ENDS - -

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For more information, images and interviews please contact James Coutts, Communications & Marketing Manager on 0131 538 0591

Notes to the Editor: Promote YT was incorporated in 2004 with the support of the Scottish Arts Council (now Creative Scotland) to develop youth theatre in Scotland. A youth theatre is considered as a group or an organisation, which engages young people as active participants in the performing arts, where their participation is central to the motivation of the creative process.

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Youth theatre is an ideal medium to encourage the dreams and visions of young people and Promote YT is therefore committed to trying to ensure that every young person in Scotland has access to a safe, inclusive and rewarding youth theatre experience. Promote YT carry out this role through providing advocacy, information services, events and training for the sector. Promote YT is a member of Arts & Business, the Theatre Forum for Scotland, and the Federation of Scottish Theatre.

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