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Hardship Fund 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 issued 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.


  • The open call for partner organisations to help us distribute this fund was launched on Friday 11 September, with a deadline of Friday 25 September.
  • Delivery Partners announced: Thursday 15 October
  • Fund Guidance to be published: Thursday 22 October
  • Online application portal go live: Monday 26 October

Screen Hardship Fund

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.