The Scottish Government has announced details of its Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund, to support cultural organisations that have been severely impacted by coronavirus.
The £15million fund forms almost half of the £31.5m funding for culture announced last month by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon.
According to an official release, the funding aims to protect jobs in the cultural sector, alongside organisations that are threatened with insolvency in the near future.
Ahead of applications opening on Thursday 17 September, the eligibility criteria and guidelines for applying to the fund have also been published.
Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund – guidance now available! ☀️
This fund aims to provide emergency support to organisations that provide opportunities for cultural engagement and have been unable to trade due to Covid-19.
— Creative Scotland (@CreativeScots) September 10, 2020
Official guidance on applying for the fund states: “We are looking for applications from organisations that are most critical to the cultural life of Scotland and whose existence is threatened by COVID-19 restrictions. It includes both organisations that provide opportunities for audiences (including, but not limited to: galleries, commercial theatres, performing arts spaces, festivals, comedy clubs and nightclubs) as well as those that enable and deliver cultural activity (including, but not limited to: production facilities, music and dance companies).
“Organisations need to have been working in Scotland’s culture sector before April 2019, and who are at significant threat of insolvency as a result of COVID-19 restrictions.”
You can access all the relevant information on applying for the fund here.
Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop, said: “It’s been an extremely difficult time for the culture sector this year. We’ve done everything we can to alleviate some of the immediate challenges but we know many businesses will continue to struggle until they can fully reopen.
“The Culture Organisations and Venue Recovery Fund will aid a range of cultural businesses and help them weather the most critical challenges they face. I’m grateful to Creative Scotland for the pace they’ve worked at to develop the funding and its distribution.”
However, grassroots music venues from across the UK have since spoken out about the continued need for public support to ensure their survival – with many warning that it’s not certain that they’ll see any funding or ever reopen.
This comes after Prime Minister Boris Johnson allowed for indoor gigs in the UK to return with social distancing measures in place, but the Music Venue Trust revealed that over two thirds of venues would be unable to do so.