Funding for Scotland’s Creative Sector During COVID-19 Outbreak

Funding for Scotland’s Creative Sector During COVID-19 Outbreak

Monday, 30 March, 2020

Emergency funding has been announced to help Scotland’s creative sector through the coronavirus crisis.

Creative Scotland has launched three new funding programmes designed to provide further support to sustain the country's creative community during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

New bursaries, and supplementary funding, is being provided to support those most in need at this time, particularly those who are least likely to benefit from the recently announced Job Retention Scheme and Self-employment Income Support scheme.

The three new funds which have been announced are:

  • The Creative Scotland Bridging Bursary Fund which will provide financial support for individual creative practitioners and/or freelancers who are most deeply impacted and disadvantaged by the cancellation of work due to the COVID-19 emergency to sustain their creative practice in Scotland. The £2 million fund will offer one-off bursary payments of between £500 and £2,500 to help support the immediate needs.
  • A £1.5 million Screen Scotland Bridging Bursary programme, providing one-off bursaries of £500 to £2,500 to freelance PAYE and self-employed screen sector workers who are experiencing immediate financial difficulty due to loss of income as a result of COVID-19.
  • The Open Funding: Sustaining Creative Development (a revised approach to the organisation's Open Project Fund) will support creative practitioners to continue to develop work. Applicants will be encouraged to use funding to explore how best to sustain their practice, and reimagine their work, during the current climate and in the months to come. Funds may also be used for the development and presentation of work. The £7.5 million fund will support up to 12 months of activity with a maximum award of £50,000.

Announcing the new programmes, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

'The impact of coronavirus is being felt everywhere, but the closure of cinemas, theatres, music venues and the many other places, combined with the high numbers of freelance and self-employed workers in the sector means the effects are particularly acute.

'It is vital we act now to help those whose income streams have been reduced to zero without warning.'

Creative Scotland advises would-be applicants to check the most up-to-date information and advice from the UK Government on its support programmes for the self-employed and freelancers before making a request for Creative Scotland finance.

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