An introduction to the Open Fund

Recently we held two pilot 'An Introduction to the Open Fund' online events. If you didn't manage to get a place at one of the events, you'll get another chance to join as we're planning more events later this year.

In the meantime, you can watch a recording of the presentation section of the session below.
Although we weren't able to record the live sessions due to data protection and privacy considerations, we'll be adding some of the questions raised during the Q&A section to our Open Fund FAQs.

Ahead of the first sessions we caught up with one of the presenters Amanda Catto, Head of Visual Arts and Lynsey McLeod, Events and Internal Communications Officer at Creative Scotland, to find out all about them.

What is the Open Fund?


The Open Fund is the main funding route that we offer for individuals and organisations working across the arts and creative industries in Scotland.

The fund has been designed to be responsive to projects and ideas that come from within the sector and that will - produce work and experiences of a high quality; provide clear benefits to the applicant and others; and that have strong management and financial plans.

At this moment we understand that the arts are facing unprecedented challenges as a result of Covid-19. The fund has been designed to take account of this and provides support for more speculative, research driven projects as well as for the realisation of fully fledged ideas. We’re interested in projects that enable individuals and organisations to develop and sustain their creative practice now and over the coming year.

What can people expect from the Open Fund events?


These events are intended to give people a quick introduction to the Open Fund and the criteria that we use in assessing applications. For people who were familiar with the previous Open Project Fund, it will help to clarify where we have made changes. For those who are new to Creative Scotland funding we hope the session will give them a useful overview of the fund and of the processes associated with it.

This is intended to complement our day to day Enquiries service which provides comprehensive and specific support to potential applicants.


These sessions will take the form of a couple of short presentations – a general introduction to Creative Scotland from Karen and an overview of the Open Fund from Amanda, with questions after each.

Questions can be submitted in advance during sign up, or asked through the Chat function throughout the event as you hear from our speakers – we will have members from CS moderating the Chat and highlighting themes and questions coming through to the event host.

Covid-19 has brought about tremendous changes for my role managing Creative Scotland’s events as I have always been at the forefront of in person experiences and face to face engagement. While working hard in a new area of event management, I do hope we meet your objectives in attending this event, however I always welcome feedback – this process of event hosting is new to me! My details are below and on behalf of all of the team at Creative Scotland, I welcome feedback to allow us to improve the experience we offer.

When are the events and how do you attend?


The first session on Wednesday 8 July from 11:00 - 12 noon is focussed around Individuals

The second session on Tuesday 14 July from 11:00 - 12 noon is focussed on Organisations

(Please note, we'll be confirming dates for the next sessions very soon)

Although we do recognise that we are all working flexibly and from home right now so please note you are welcome to attend either session, we’ll do our best to cover all your questions!

We’d recommend that everyone reads the fund guidance documents in advance of the sessions.

What if you can’t make either session?


I am working hard with our colleagues in EDI to make our online events as accessible as possible. This includes:

  • Asking at registration for any other support Creative Scotland can offer to facilitate your attendance
  • Pre-recording presentations which will be available after the first event for those who want to review or those who couldn’t secure a place
  • Having in-event live captioning
  • Creating other useful guidance films, such as a walk-through of the application form
  • Making the transcripts and Chat of any event available on request too.

We are limited to 40 attendees per event so if you miss out and would be keen to attend a later event, email me at

How can you get further help with your Open Fund application?


Our enquiries team are on hand to answer questions and to help you understand the application process. You can get in touch with them at and they’ll either be able to advise you themselves, or they’ll put you in contact with one of our officers, to support you to make an application.

We're committed to offering clear and accessible application processes and programmes that are open to everyone. On request this information is available in alternative formats including translations.

We offer access support to disabled applicants, tailored to individual requests. Support includes Sign Language Interpreters for meetings and scribing support for dyslexic applicants. The Equalities Team can also offer additional one-to-one support to applicants with access requirements.

Links to register

We'll be confirming more dates for the Open Fund session very soon!

This article was published on 25 Jun 2020