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Hardship Funds for Creative Freelancers

Hardship Funds for Creative Freelancers

This fund aims to address the current financial hardship being felt by creative freelancers who normally work in the culture sector but whose work has been impacted by Covid-19.

Background to the fund

In August 2020, the Scottish Government announced that the culture and heritage sectors in Scotland were to benefit from a £59 million funding package to protect jobs and help the industry weather the effects of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

As part of this announcement £5m has been allocated to support hardship funding for creative freelancers in Scotland who are experiencing hardship as a result of COVID-19. Creative Scotland is therefore looking to work with organisations that already offer this type of support to individuals across the creative sector to augment and / or extend the reach of existing hardship funds for creative freelancers.

Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government are committed to ensuring that the hardship funding being offered to support creative freelancers reaches people in as many parts of the culture sector as possible, not just those parts that we work with most frequently and are familiar with.

As such, we are issuing an open call to invite any existing organisations, charities, trusts or unions based in Scotland or the wider UK who are presently managing funds to individuals in the creative sector (excluding Screen, see below) for hardship or benevolent purposes in Scotland to work with us in delivering this funding. Funds should be national (ie open to those living anywhere in Scotland) and sector specific.

The funds will need to be fully disbursed by end March 2021 and organisations need to have the ability to ring-fence this funding for applicants resident in Scotland.


This call is live from Friday 11 September.

The deadline for submissions of expressions of interest is 5pm on Friday 25 September.

We anticipate confirming awards to external delivery partners w/c 5 October. We will simultaneously launch a fund managed by Creative Scotland to cover freelancers not eligible for support from the schemes being delivered by our external partners.

Screen Scotland

Screen Scotland will be administering a proportion of the hardship fund of £700k. This fund is now open for applications on the Screen Scotland website.

How to apply

If you are interested in becoming a partner in this programme please use the form below to submit an Expression of Interest, providing details of your organisation's legal status and existing hardship funding programmes. If you would like to discuss this opportunity in more detail please contact enquiries@creativescotland.com.

Expressions of Interest must be submitted to hardshipfundEOI@creativescotland.com no later than 5pm on Friday 25 September 2020.

What happens next

Once we receive all the expressions of interest, we will map the provision offered by our potential partners and this will inform next steps in the process. As part of this, we will speak to all applicants w/c 28 September – so please ensure that your main contact is available during this period and/or that an alternative contact is provided in the event of staff leave or similar


Expressions of Interest form

Download the Expression of Interest form in .doc format.