Scottish government announces grants for arts and culture freelancers

Scottish government announces grants for arts and culture freelancers
Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events

Posted: Fri 4th Sep 2020

Grants totalling £5m for creative freelancers are among new funding for the arts and culture sector announced by the Scottish government.

The finance is part of the £94m allocated to Scotland is the UK's government's £1.57bn package to help cinemas, theatres, music venues, museums, art galleries and other arts businesses deal with the impact of coronavirus.

The new schemes, which are administered by Creative Scotland, are as follows:

  • The £5m Creative Freelancer Hardship Fund is aimed at creative freelancers who normally work in the culture sector, but whose work has been impacted by COVID-19. Creative Scotland said it is "working to appoint partners to ensure a wide spread of coverage". Applications will open in early October.

  • The £3.5m Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund helps independent cinemas re-establish and adjust their business models in response to coronavirus. It will open on 14 September.

  • The £15m Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund supports organisations providing opportunities for cultural engagement that have been unable to trade. It includes galleries, performing arts spaces, commercial theatres, comedy clubs and nightclubs as well as production facilities, music and dance companies. Eligibility criteria and guidelines for applying will be published on 10 September. The fund will open on 17 September and awards will be made by the first week in November.

  • The £5m Sustaining Creative Practice Fund supports artists to continue developing new creative work that will make a significant contribution to Scotland's recovery from COVID-19. This includes £1.5m for the Culture Collective programme which supports organisations employing freelance artists to work in and with communities across Scotland. The remaining £3.5m will be added to Creative Scotland's existing open fund which is now open for applications from individuals.

  • The £3m Youth Arts Fund is targeted and open funding for youth music and wider youth arts organisations, a scheme to devolve grants locally to artists who work with young people and small grants delivered directly to young people to support them fulfil their creative ambitions.

Culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: "It's been an extremely trying time for everyone in the culture and heritage sectors over the last few months.

"The major issues presented by the pandemic are not going away but as we slowly start to reopen, this funding will provide much needed emergency support and aid the recovery.

"As extensive as this package of support is, we know there will still be more needed. Culture and heritage are vitally important to all of our lives in Scotland, at this time more than ever. Without significant borrowing powers, there is only so much the Scottish government can do.

"I urge the UK government to consider extending the furlough scheme, to ensure longer term support as we continue to navigate this crisis."

Dan Martin
Dan MartinDan Martin Content & Events
I'm a freelance content creator and event host who helps small businesses and the organisations that support them. I have 18 years of experience as a small business journalist having interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurs from billionaires like Sir Richard Branson to the founders behind brand new start-ups. I've worked for a range of leading small business publications and support groups, most recently as head of content at Enterprise Nation where I was responsible for the prolific output of content on the company's blog and social media. I'm based in Bristol where I run and host regular events with the local small business community and have strong connections to major business organisations in the south west region. In total, I've hosted over 50 events; from intimate meet-ups to conferences with an audience of hundreds including events for international brands like Facebook and Xero. I'm also a big fan of podcasts having hosted Enterprise Nation's Small Business Sessions as well as lots of online events including Facebook Live interviews, webinars and three live web chats from inside 10 Downing Street. With my partner, I co-run Lifestyle District, a lifestyle blog focused on culture, art, theatre and photography. I'm here to help. I'm volunteering free advice calls of up to an hour as part of the Recovery Advice for Business scheme, over the next 6 months. Please get in touch to see how I can help your business. 

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