Creative Scotland launches next round of Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers

The Scottish Government’s £5 million Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers will re-open for applications at 12 noon, Tuesday 10 November 2020.

The fund is designed to support creative freelancers working in the arts, creative and screen sectors who are experiencing immediate financial hardship due to the loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund includes the £4.3million element being delivered by Creative Scotland and partners BECTU, Crafts Council & Craft Scotland, Help Musicians, Society of Authors and Visual Arts Scotland, as well as £700K being delivered through Screen Scotland.

From 12 noon on Tuesday 10 November:

  • those applying through Creative Scotland and delivery partners can do so through the online portal available on the Creative Scotland Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers page. Applicants will be asked to register before being channelled to the relevant funding partner to complete their application.
  • Freelancers applying through Screen Scotland – including photographers – are asked to complete their application through the online portal, which will be accessed via the Screen Scotland Hardship Fund page.

The £5 million Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers is one of a series of Scottish Government emergency funds for creativity and culture being administered through Creative Scotland.

These funds have been put in place to help mitigate the immediate impacts of COVID-19 on the creative and cultural sector. There are five emergency funds which were announced by the First Minister on Friday 28 August and which are being delivered through Creative Scotland. Below are those that are still open for applications or that launch in November:

  • £3.5million additional funds for Creative Scotland’s Open Fund which is open for applications to individuals and organisations now. The application threshold has recently been increased from £50K to £100K.
  • £3million Youth Arts funding package comprises of at least £1.2million through the Access to Youth Arts Fund which will be open to applications until Thursday 12 November.
  • £1.5million for the Culture Collective programme (part of the £5million Sustaining Creative Practice Fund, referred to in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government), supporting organisations employing freelance artists to work in and with communities across Scotland. The programme is due to launch on Tuesday 3 November.

Previously announced funds from the Scottish Government are:

  • £12.5million Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund which has reached 79 venues across Scotland. Recipients were published on Thursday 24 September and full information on awards can be read here.
  • £2.2million Grassroots Music Venues Stabilisation Fund which has reached 72 venues across Scotland. Recipients were published on Tuesday 22 September and full information on awards is here.
  • £15million Culture Organisation and Venues Recovery Fund which opened for applications on Thursday 17 September with a deadline of Thursday 24 September. 348 applications have been received totalling over £22million. Application assessments are continuing to take place and decisions will be communicated in early November.
  • £3.5million Independent Cinemas Recovery and Resilience Fund, which opened for applications on Monday 14 September with a deadline of Monday 5 October. 27 applications have been received totalling £3.55million. Recipients to be announced in early November.

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits Scotland, distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery.

Scottish Ensemble / Image: Hugh Carswell

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