POETRY that explores the ancient coastal kingdoms that traded with Galloway is one of 41 projects backed by £840,000 in funding from the national arts body.

The author Hugh McMillan has received one of the Open Project awards to research and write about the coasts of Galloway, Isle of Man, north and western Ireland, north west England, the Isle of Man, Wales, Kintyre, Morvern and the Inner Hebrides.

The grant will allow McMillan to write the book, called Littoral.

Other projects backed by funding include the StAnza poetry festival in St Andrews, the Look Again visual arts festival in Aberdeen, spoken word cabaret nights from Sonnet Youth in Edinburgh and Glasgow, as well as the most northerly mainland arts centre, Lyth Arts Centre in Caithness.

The major arts venue Summerhall, in Edinburgh, has also received funding, as well as folk band Rura.

McMillan said: "We're used to seeing Scotland as an adjunct to England's story, but the same can be said of some of its parts, places seen as backwaters which were once vibrant, populous and prosperous.

"Turn Scotland 90 degrees to the right and you have Galloway on top, once the hub of a thriving maritime Empire, now the centre of a pattern of neglect and depopulation that crosses four national boundaries."

The 40th anniversary programme for the Queen's Hall in Edinburgh has received funding for a series of performances with guest curators Tommy Smith, Heidi Talbot, Nicola Meighan and Alasdair Campbell.

Other recipients included Hebrides Ensemble, for its 2019 programme and the contemporary art gallery 16 Nicholson Street in Edinburgh.

One of the UK's leading disabled artists, Claire Cunningham, has also received funding.

The funds will allow her to "capitalise on a number of international opportunities, collaborations, commissions and performances."

She said: "I’m both glad and excited to receive this support for the rich and valuable encounters it will make possible with extraordinary people and organisations, and for the opportunity it provides me to look at new ways my work can engage with audiences and the public.”

Artists Sogol Mabadi and Birthe Jorgensen have been backed for a new work titled Home Where Home is Not, which they are making with Platform in Glasgow, and Glasgow Women's Library. Mabadi.

Dogstar Theatre Company have been funded to develop, produce and tour a theatrical and musical adaptation of Kevin MacNeil’s novel The Stornoway Way.

Matthew Zajac, artistic director, said: “I’m looking forward with great excitement to creating a stage version of Kevin MacNeil’s brilliant novel.

"This is going to be a special night out for audiences across Scotland, inspired by one of the most original and funny Scottish novels of the last 20 years."

Rura have received funding to enable them to perform at the Woodford Folk Festival in Queensland, Australia.

Iain Munro, the acting Chief Executive at Creative Scotland said: "The breadth of work supported reflects the strength and diversity of creativity in Scotland.

"These awards will enable the creation, touring and presentation of arts and creative projects for audiences across Scotland and develop the artistic practice of emerging and established artists and creative practitioners."