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Touring Fund for Theatre and Dance - FAQs

The new Touring Fund for Theatre and Dance aims to support the touring of theatre and dance, enhancing opportunities for artists, producers and companies to work more collaboratively with venues. The deadline for the first round of applications was 6 November 2018, with the next round to open in February 2019.

Following a series of information sessions held in October 2018, we have compiled the following answers to frequently asked questions. Also be sure to read the funding guidelines (PDF) for all the key information before applying.


Will productions of all type and scale (including large scale productions) be eligible for the fund?

Yes. The Fund aims to support a variety of productions of difference size, scale and audience reach and productions of all scales are eligible and encouraged to apply. We do not intend to set quotas for each scale or type of work. Instead the fund will respond to the range of applications received at each deadline, and aim to support a balanced set of projects, including some small and some larger scale works, and representing a diversity of work for prospective audiences.

Applicants must bear in mind that larger scale work is generally more expensive to produce, and in keeping with requests from the sector not to set minimum and maximum limits on how much applicants can apply for, we expect that we will only be able to fund a smaller number of these large scale projects at each deadline.

Will touring projects which are multi art form be eligible to apply?

The Fund’s was set up to specifically address issues with touring for theatre and dance – and so this fund is focussed on those art forms. Other art forms can seek funding for touring from the Open Project Fund. However theatre and/or dance performances that include elements from other art forms can be included (e.g. dance performances that use video as part of the staging).

Will an application for schools touring be eligible for the Fund?

Projects which solely take work into schools would not be eligible for this fund - as the fund has been developed to support audience development, and applications need to be for tours which engage wider audiences.

However, if the school activity is just a part of a wider audience engagement activity that feeds into a tour that is reaching other general audiences, then this could be included part of the application.

Can Regularly Funded Organisations (RFO) apply for this Fund?

Regularly Funded Organisations (RFO) which are already funded to tour theatre or dance as part of their RFO Funding Agreement cannot apply for the Touring Fund.

RFOs which are venues and funded to receive touring productions, can be included in applications which are submitted by a consortia of venues. In these applications, the RFO cannot be the lead applicant, and the proposal must provide evidence that this consortia activity is additional to their core work, that they are providing significant benefit to the consortia and that the majority of consortia venues are not RFOs.

Can we apply for project development funding through the Touring Fund, or does it still need to go through the Open Project Funding?

Applicants seeking funds to research and develop projects to an early stage of production should still apply to Open Project Funding. The Touring Fund is only set to cover costs for the planning of a tour (i.e. tour booking, producer support, audience development planning, etc.)

Would an application for funding from the Touring Fund allow us to include costs relating to rehearsal time?

Yes, applicants can include rehearsal time in their application and budget.


When will the money actually be made available to those applying for the first deadline (6 November 2018)? Should a company who wishes to tour from March to May 2019 apply for Open Project Funding or the Touring Fund?

Successful applicants from the November 2018 deadline will not receive any funds until the beginning of the new financial year, in April 2019. We will therefore recommend all applicants wishing to fund touring projects taking place in the first half of 2019 to apply for Open Project Funding. These applications will need to be submitted before the end of 2018 in order to be considered in time. Applicants wishing to fund tours from mid-2019 onwards should apply for the Touring Fund.

Please note however that because of the introduction of the Touring Fund, applications to make and tour work will no longer be accepted for Open Project Funding after December 2018.

Can applicants submit a Touring Fund application at the same time as, or while awaiting results from, an Open Project Funding (OPF) application for Research and Development?

Research and Development should be complete before applying to the Touring Fund.

Applicants can only simultaneously submit a Touring Fund application and a Research and Development application through OPF if it is for two different productions.

Can an applicant start a project before April 2019?

Funding will be awarded from April 2019 onwards, and Creative Scotland cannot fund activity retrospectively, so all budget costs must be for activity taking place from April onwards.

The guidelines state that Creative Scotland expect projects to be planning tours around 12 months or more in advance of their application for funding. Does that mean that the tour cannot begin until November 2019? And what would then constitute a “clear justification” for a tour less than 12 months from now?

Once the Touring Fund is established, with regular deadlines, then we would anticipate applicants to be duly planning their activity 12 months in advance – so primarily this is a guideline for the future. As it states in the guidance, applicants can submit projects which are scheduled to begin earlier than this, and an example of a ‘a clear justification’ would be if there was strong demand from venues for the tour to take place sooner.

Would applicants be able to re-submit if their application was unsuccessful at the first panel?

Dependent of feedback from the panel, applicants might be able to reapply.


Does the Touring Fund require applicants to have other external funds and/or partnerships in place (i.e. co-productions)?

Although it is very positive and should absolutely be included in the application, partnerships and/or external funding support is not an essential part of the criteria of the Touring Fund. Any external funds (i.e. from foundations, local authorities, etc.) should be added to the budget.

Should applicants who organise and sell outreach projects to help promote a production (i.e. masterclasses, workshops, etc.) include this in their application?

This kind of project should be included in the application budget as audience development. If the applicant is anticipating selling these to venues/partners, this should be noted as an estimated income at the point of application.

As a tour is planned well in advance, certain income and costs might be estimates. How do applicants reflect this in their budget?

We recommend all applicants to include a contingency of 5-10% in their budget.

How should applicants who have in-kind partnerships for certain services (i.e. accommodation, travel, etc.) reflect this in their budget?

Applicants should show this type of partnership as in-kind income and attach a letter of support to their application.

If school activity can be part of an application as part of wider audience engagement activity, can applicants include the costs of education package as well as elements of training/planning for education components in the budget?

Applicants can include this type of costs in their budget however applicants need to be aware that application will be assessed as a project as a whole, and the proportion of education activity/workshops vs. public performances will be considered.

Box Office

As the Touring Fund guidance says that box office takings shouldn’t be included in budgets, do we keep the 20% of the box office on top of any funding awarded?

Yes. The intention is that the applicant will be able to retain the 20% of the box office which can then be used to support their ongoing work between projects. This may be used to maintain producer support or develop future projects. This need not be included in the project budget. Fees related to the creation of the funded project will still be covered by the funding award.

The Touring Fund guidance says that the successful applicants will be expected to offer the work to venues at an 80/20 split of box office in the venues’ favour and retain the 20%. However, is there any flexibility for a different box office split for large-scale productions?

For large-scale productions where there is the potential to earn significant income, a different split of box office can be agreed with the venue and the weekly direct touring costs should not be included in the budget. A clear narrative needs to be included to explain this in the application.

Some companies work with small rural venues that are normally fit for other purposes (i.e. sports hall, schools, etc.) and are unlikely to be able to support the company with any marketing, tech or tickets sales. In this case, would an applicant be able to suggest a different income/box office plan in their application?

In this case, if most or all of the costs are being covered by the company, rather than the venue, the applicant would need to add this to their budget (including hall hire, if relevant) and include a clear narrative to explain this in the application. The tour will be assessed as a whole to evaluate its overall reach.

Is the 80/20 split box office net of credit card commission?

Yes. And this should be confirmed through the Memorandum of Terms, as well as any contras negotiated on a case-by-case basis between presenters and producers.

Multi-Project Applications

How should applicants present their budget for multi-project applications?

For multiple project applications, we need an overall budget and a budget for each tour with delivery costs divided across each project.

Tour Locations / Venues

As there might be limitations of spaces available for certain productions and/or types of theatre/dance, do applicants absolutely need to confirm at least 12 locations to be eligible to the Touring Fund?

We would expect the majority of applicants to be looking for support for tours which happen at a minimum of 12 locations. However, for some genres of theatre/dance - for example experimental dance or aerial work - securing 12 locations is not feasible as performance spaces do not have the necessary technical resources; or because the work is pushing art form boundaries and needs to develop audiences over time. For these kinds of work, a tour of less than 12 locations can be supported if there is a clear rationale supplied, explaining why it is not able to tour to more than a limited number of locations.

Is the 12 locations requirement based on one day per venue? Would applicants be penalised if they are planning to perform 2 or 3 nights per venue, as the touring costs would then likely be more expensive?

The Touring Review showed that the current touring ecosystem focuses on shorter tours, with the prevalence of one-night stands, which presents a number of challenges in relation to attracting, retaining and growing audiences. With this in mind, the Touring Fund guidelines focusses on 12 locations rather than 12 days and we would respond favourably to applications who can help prevent the ‘one night stand’ issue and instead aim to develop audiences and deepen engagement with longer stays at venues.

Are applications for tours taking place primarily in Scotland, with a few dates in England or abroad, eligible? In which case, can the applicant also ask for support through Open Project Funding or other schemes (i.e. Arts Council England and other agencies) to support the non-Scottish dates of the tour?

The purpose of the Touring Fund is to support the touring of work in Scotland only. Any costs relating to touring outside Scotland will not be supported by this fund.

For anyone seeking funding to tour outside Scotland, you should look at other funding options.

Can an application include performances at festivals (i.e. Fringe)? If that is the case, would the applicant still be eligible for Made in Scotland funding

Performances at the Fringe can be included as long as they are part of a larger tour. However, these should not be subject to the 80/20 split of box office. Any box office earned at the Fringe should go towards covering the direct touring costs of these weeks.

Successful Touring Fund applicants can also apply for Made in Scotland funding to support their Fringe dates, provided that they are able to meet the eligibility for that fund (which is focussed on supporting top up costs for shows which are ready for international touring).

How will an application be assessed if the tour covers regularly used venues/local authorities?

We will be looking for wide reach in terms of audience and geography

Can applicants include a mix of more conventional spaces balanced with less conventional spaces in their application?

Mixing a tour of existing, more established venues, combined with less conventional spaces would be fine, and even encouraged if it meant that the work might be reaching audiences that might not attend a conventional venue.

Obviously the ‘less conventional spaces’ need to be practical (as a performance space) and health and safety compliant.

Theatre Tax Relief

When putting together the predictive income, do applicants need to include the tax relief in the budget?

No as this is not a condition of the Touring Fund and Creative Scotland will not be requiring applicants to use this scheme. We simply recommend applicants to make full use of the Theatre Tax Relief but again this should not be included in the budget for the Touring Fund, although we will need applicants to record this in the end of project monitoring report. Applicants should therefore make sure they have systems in place to capture the required information for a claim. Together with the 20% of box office we intend this to provide a level of sustainability for artist and companies between active touring projects.

Audience Development

What details will be specified in the Memorandum of Terms with venues regarding marketing and audience development?

The Memorandum of Terms is being developed by the Federation of Scottish Theatre Touring Working Group and should be ready in late 2018 or early 2019, on time for successful applicants to use for the early discussions with venues and for the planning of their tour.

How are applicants expected to measure audience development? Do they need to follow existing Creative Scotland guidelines (i.e. Equalities, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) for instance)?

We do not expect applicants to develop a marketing and audience development plan in their application - however, they should include a clear description of what audiences will get from their work. To measure this, applicants will be asked to use a combination of quantitative and qualitative measures: i.e. attendance numbers, quality of engagement and geographical reach for instance. Applicants should refer to good practices as outlined by Creative Scotland in their EDI guidelines.

Find out more about the Touring Fund and how to apply.

If you have a question not covered here or in the funding guidelines, you can contact our Enquiries Service for further advice.