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Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund

Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund

Applications to this fund are now closed. You can find information about the awards made in this news story.

What is the Scottish Government Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund?

This fund recognises that performing arts venues which programme professional theatre and / or dance and / or music will likely only be able to re-open to the public in the final phase of the Scottish Government’s Covid-19 plans. Even then, their ability to receive audiences and participants to full capacity may be significantly constrained by remaining social distancing requirements and audience confidence. This in turn has an impact on their financial viability and capacity to commission or employ freelance artists and creative practitioners in the immediate term.

The purpose of this fund is to support immediate and critical financial need in order for venues which programme theatre and / or dance and / or music to remain solvent during the period of closure to the public and to plan for a sustainable return. This funding is to bridge the financial gap until opening plans and income projections are clearer.

What is the total budget for this fund?

The total budget for this fund is £12.5m. Allocation of this fund is as follows:

  • £7.5m targeted funding for performing arts venues in Scotland currently in receipt of Regular Funding through Creative Scotland
  • £5m open fund for application from Scotland based performing arts venues not currently in receipt of Regular Funding.

What are we looking for?

The need is great across the sector, so funding will be prioritised to achieve the following:

  • Remove the threat of insolvency prior to the end of March 2021 to enable the development and delivery of activity as soon as practicable
  • Allow for specialist / core staff to return from furlough or avoid redundancy to work on future sustainable activity plans
  • Increase commissioning and employment opportunities for freelance artists and creative practitioners to support continued public engagement while closed (activity delivery must take place between now and the end of March 2021).

Who can submit an application for funding?

Performing arts venues outside Creative Scotland’s Regularly Funded network which programme professional theatre and / or dance and / or music, and which are one of the following:

1. Charity registered with OSCR
2. Local authority owned and run venues

Funding available: fund value of up to £5m with a maximum request of £250,000.

The fund is targeted at professionally staffed organisations whose primary function is to serve as a year-round presenting venue.

Only one application is permitted per organisation regardless of the number of venues under its control.

How to submit a request for funding

Step 1

Submission of an Expression of Interest to determine eligibility by 5 August 2020. Please note that all applicants are required to submit this Expression of Interest by this date in order to be considered for this fund.

Step 2

All Expression of Interest submissions will be responded to and decided as eligible / ineligible by 12 August 2020.

Step 3

A pre-application conversation between eligible applicants and a Creative Scotland officer will be required to agree the scope of the application and approximate funding request. We will contact you as soon as possible after 12 August to allow you time to develop your application.

Step 4

Completion of an application to be returned no later than 5pm on Thursday 27 August 2020.

Step 5

Decisions will be communicated no later than 24 September 2020.

How much can be requested?

You can request up to a maximum of £250,000 in your application. If you have sought funding from other Covid-19-related funds, please let us know if you have been successful. You should also reference the Job Retention Bonus scheme if relevant and be able to demonstrate immediate need.

The financial need is considerable across the sector and this fund will not be able to meet all funding gaps. It is anticipated that only a few awards at the upper limit will be possible within the available budget with most awards being for less. Please therefore consider carefully what your immediate need is.


Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund Guidance

Download the guidance document in PDF format.

Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund Guidance RFOs

Download the guidance document for Regularly Funded Organisations (RFOs) in PDF format.

How do I find out more information?

If you need more information please contact our Enquiries Service using one of the methods outlined on our Contact Us page.