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Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers

Hardship Funds for Creative Freelancers

Important - Applications now paused until 2pm Monday 15 March

Applications for both the Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers and the Screen Hardship Fund have been paused due to a high volume of applications. We are pausing the fund to allow extra time for applicants with additional needs, and who may need longer to apply, to submit their applications with the time and support required.

The fund will re-open at 2pm on Monday 15 March.

Please note that since the fund opened on Tuesday 2 March, we have received over £8million of requests from the £9million fund. We anticipate that the fund will be at capacity within a short amount of time from re-opening on 15 March.

If you have any concerns about your ability to apply, please get in touch with our Enquiries team.


The Scottish Government has committed £17m through Creative Scotland and Screen Scotland for creative freelancers who are experiencing hardship due to lost income from work and/or practice in the creative sector due to COVID-19. £8m was administered between October 2020 and February 2021. A further £9m is to be administered in March 2021.

For this latest round, as well as supporting new applicants, previous recipients of the fund who have been awarded funding can also apply again for a further award of up to £2k.

The online application portal will remain open either until 12 noon on 22 March 2021 or (if all budget is allocated before that point), the fund may close earlier.

Please note: Those working in the screen and photography sector should apply to the Screen Scotland Hardship Fund which is open at the same time as this fund.

How to Apply

Applications are now paused until 2pm on Monday 15 March 2021

Please ensure you have read the Guidance document before applying when the fund reopens.

Previous recipients of Hardship Funding

If you have previously received funding from the Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers, you will be able to use your existing details and complete a short declaration form.

There is an option to reset your password if you have forgotten your login details.

All other applicants

If you have not previously applied to the Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers, you will have to register an account when applications reopen.

If you registered previously and either did not complete your application or were considered ineligible and your circumstances have changed, then you will be able log in using your previous log in details and complete a new submission.

Please Note

New applicants will need to submit a CV (Curriculum Vitae) or a biography of yourself and your work. Please be as specific as possible about your work as a creative freelancer, including names of organisations and employers. For example, if you play in a band, please tell us the name of the band, venues you’ve played in or record labels you’ve worked with; If you’re a dancer, it would be helpful to know what companies you have danced with and where have you performed. Whatever your role, the more information you can provide on your specific work in the sector, the more helpful this is for us. All these details help us to understand that you’re working as a freelancer in the Scottish arts or creative sector and are eligible for the fund.

Please ensure that you provide us with enough information to enable us to confirm your eligibility. It is your responsibility to ensure that the information you give us is accurate, and that it details your creative practice, pre-lockdown, as well as confirming that you previously generated the majority of your income from this activity.

How long will it take to get a decision?

The funds are offered on a non-competitive basis and require you to submit minimal information to enable us to make awards as quickly as possible. We will aim to ensure that all eligible recipients will receive money in their account within 6 weeks of submission of your request. If there are any delays to this, we’ll let you know.


Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers Guidance

View and download the Guidance document in PDF format

Hardship Fund Roles

View and download the list of roles in PDF format

Hardship Funds FAQs

Download the FAQs in PDF format

How to 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.