An update from Iain Munro

Published: 31 Jul 2020

Yesterday, following an announcement from the First Minister, we opened the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund for applications. This fund has been specifically designed, in agreement with Scottish Government officials, to deliver £12.5m relief funding to the many performing arts venues across Scotland which are also registered charities and for whom public funding is already a significant contributor to their ongoing viability.

This is the latest in an ongoing series of measures that are being put in place to provide emergency support for the culture sector in Scotland, and follows on from the Bridging Bursary Programme and our repurposed Open Fund which, together, provide £13m emergency funding to people working in the culture sector. To follow is the recently announced £2.2m for Grassroots Music Venues, the details of which are currently being developed and will open for application soon.

The funds announced so far are not, by any means, the end of the support to be offered and there will be more announcements to come, not least in terms of how the £97m announced by the UK Government for culture and heritage in Scotland is to be applied.  The precise nature of this is still being determined and, beyond what has already been made available, Creative Scotland is working closely with the Scottish Government to actively consider what further support can be given to the culture sector, including those who may not have received funding previously.

My colleagues and I at Creative Scotland absolutely understand the pressures that are being felt across all aspects of Scotland’s cultural sector – impacting people and organisations – as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We recognise the scale of these challenges and are doing everything we can, working at pace, to help address them.

We are in unprecedented times, budgets are finite and it will not be possible to address every challenge being faced by the culture sector. Nevertheless, we will continue to work with the Scottish Government and partners to do everything we can to help support culture and creativity in Scotland through this extremely difficult time, recognising the vital role that it plays in all of our lives.