The Big Noise children's orchestras in Stirling, Glasgow and Aberdeen are to be backed by £2.5m from the Scottish Government.

The money, over four years, will go towards supporting the charity behind the orchestras, Sistema Scotland, which run the projects in Raploch, Govanhill and Torry.

Sistema Scotland works with more than 1,500 children and young people in these areas, offering intensive classical music training.

Sistema Scotland's work is based on El Sistema, the acclaimed music system in Venezuela.

The Scottish Government has now funded Sistema Scotland with more than £4 million since 2012/13.

It said the funding package will enable Sistema to work with at least an extra 700 young people across its three Big Noise centres.

Fiona Hyslop, culture secretary, said: "We are committed to investing in early intervention programmes that support our young people, raise attainment, tackle inequality and empower our communities.

"Sistema Scotland is addressing each of these key priorities and making a real impact.

"No young person’s background should be a barrier to taking part in cultural life or realising the immeasurable benefits that the arts can bring."

She added: "I want every child and young person in Scotland to be able to reach their full potential and fulfil their ambitions. Through its creative, empowering and energising approach, Sistema Scotland is helping us to achieve this and so much more, transforming the lives of thousands of young people in three of our most disadvantaged communities."

Ms Hyslop said that independent evaluation has shown that the charity's work had increased the confidence and self esteem of the children involved.

Richard Holloway, chairman of the Sistema Scotland Board, said: "We are delighted by this incredible support from the Scottish Government. "It fully endorses the social transformation work done by Sistema Scotland and the Big Noise Centres in the communities they serve. This new investment will not only help us to continue with our existing work, it will also enable us to work intensively each week with around 700 more children."

Holloway, former Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church, said that a recent study by the Glasgow Centre for Population Health showed Big Noise attendees achieve higher levels of attainment and attendance at school, and have higher levels of confidence, pride and self-esteem.

He added: "Big Noise Raploch is regarded as a Centre of Excellence, Leadership and Learning throughout the Sistema movement worldwide. We will now be working with the Scottish Government on sharing our experiences and learning in social transformation."

The first orchestra in Scotland was established in Raploch, Stirling in 2008, the second in 2013 in Govanhill, Glasgow.

A third Big Noise Centre in Torry, Aberdeen was launched on 29 June 2015.

The Scottish Government provided funding of £1.575 million to Sistema Scotland during the four years to 2015/16.

Today’s announcement confirms an additional £415,000 will be awarded in 2016/17 followed by £2.085 million in the three years to 2020. The funding will be sourced from several Scottish Government portfolios including health, education and culture.

In March 2011 the Scottish Government published an evaluation on the impact of the Big Noise Raploch programme which noted the "positive impact on health and well-being, education and learning, community safety, community cohesion, children’s aspirations, personal and social skills."