Delivery Partners confirmed for £5million Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers

Crafts Council & Craft ScotlandHelp MusiciansSociety of Authors and Visual Arts Scotland have been confirmed as partners to assist Creative Scotland in the delivery of the Scottish Government’s £5million Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers.

Subject to confirmation, BECTU will also be partnering with Creative Scotland on the delivery of this funding.

The specific sector expertise of these partners will help ensure the hardship funds reach as many freelancers across different creative sectors as possible, working with Creative Scotland who will deliver the funds to creative freelancers who work in the sectors not covered by the partner organisations

Eligibility criteria for the fund will be published on Thursday 22 October followed by the fund opening for application at 12noon, Monday 26 October.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “Culture is vitally important to all of our lives in Scotland. This is an extremely worrying time for many people involved in culture and creative industries, particularly creative freelancers and practitioners whose work is integral not only to the economy, but to the wellbeing of individuals and communities.
“Many continue to face uncertain futures while much of their sectors remain unable to operate, and it is important that we can offer financial support while we continue to navigate our way through the pandemic.
“This fund will provide emergency support to creative freelancers in Scotland who are experiencing hardship as a result of the pandemic. Working closely with partners in industry to deliver this fund will help Creative Scotland ensure support reaches people as quickly as possible.”
Iain MunroCEO at Creative Scotland said: “There is no end in sight to the COVID-19 pandemic and the significant impact it is having on Scotland’s creative sector.  With welcome financial support from the Scottish Government, this Hardship Fund offers much needed support for creative freelancers who have been particularly hard hit by the inability to work due to necessary restrictions. Creative Scotland is working hard with our partners to ensure this support reaches those in need as quickly as possible.”
Crafts Council’s Executive DirectorRosy Greenlees OBE said: “We are delighted to partner with Craft Scotland to deliver much needed financial support to craft freelancers in Scotland. We know that craft professionals from curators, and educators to individual makers and businesses are struggling. Creative Scotland’s investment will offer a lifeline to ensure the Scottish craft sector remains a thriving and creative force.”
Help Musicians’ Chief Executive, James Ainscough said: “With no end in sight to the restrictions that prevent musicians earning a living from live performance, we are delighted to see Creative Scotland providing this much needed funding for the community of Scottish musicians. The team at Help Musicians are pleased to play a supporting role by administering this funding, ensuring that musicians experiencing financial hardship are given a real financial boost as quickly as possible.” 
Society of Authors Chief ExecutiveNicola Solomon said: “This funding will be invaluable to the many Scottish writers, illustrators and translators who have fallen between the gaps in financial support during the health crisis. The grants we will now be able to distribute through the Authors’ Contingency Fund will enable some authors to keep working in spite of financial losses, others to stay afloat while dealing with their own ill health, others to fulfil caring responsibilities – and others simply to keep a roof over their heads. We are grateful for the opportunity to make a difference for Scottish authors.”
Sarah Calmus, President of Visual Arts Scotland said: “Visual Arts Scotland are proud to be partnering with Creative Scotland to help deliver these new funds which follow on from our own Emergency Art Workers Support Fund. In this unprecedented period, Visual Arts Scotland are dedicated to helping the creative community and are committed to stand in solidarity through distributing funds to Visual Artists who are most in need of support at this time.” 

The 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 new emergency funds which were announced by the First Minister on Friday 28 August and which are being delivered through Creative Scotland as follows:

  • £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 now taking place and decisions will be communicated early November.
  • £5million Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers, for which an open call for partner organisations to help us distribute this fund was launched on Friday 11 September, with a deadline of Friday 25 September.  18 Expressions of Interest were received with five organisations now selected.  The £700,000 Screen element of these Hardship Funds opened for applications on Tuesday 22 September and closed on Friday 2 October.  Assessments are taking place and decisions being communicated to applicants.
  • £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. Assessments are taking place and decisions will be announced w/c 26 October.
  • £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; the £700,000 Small Grants Scheme which launched on Thursday 24 September and will be open to applications until Monday 2 November; £50,000 assigned to the Time to Shine Nurturing Talent Fund, and an additional £1,050,000 allocated to support a number of targeted national and local area youth music and wider youth arts organisations. These organisations will be invited to apply for the Youth Arts Targeted Fund by Tuesday 13 October.
  • £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. More details to be announced in the coming weeks.

Previously announced funds from the Scottish Government are:

Updates on all emergency funds are being published regularly on the Creative Scotland website and publicised through media and social media communications.

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