Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund opens for submissions of interest

Published: 29 Jul 2020

Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund

Following today’s announcement by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon of a £2.5m increase to the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund, taking the total available through the fund to £12.5m, Creative Scotland has, today, published guidance on how to access this fund.

Allocation of this fund is as follows:

  • £7.5m targeted funding for performing arts venues in Scotland currently in receipt of Regular Funding through Creative Scotland
  • £5m open fund for application from Scotland based performing arts venues not currently in receipt of Regular Funding. This open fund has been developed with input from the Federation for Scottish Theatre and opens today, Thursday 30 July 2020.

The Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund will help performing arts venues which cannot yet reopen to their audiences due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Scottish Government intends the fund to:

  • Remove the threat of insolvency prior to the end of March 2021 to enable the development and delivery of activity as soon as practicable
  • Allow for specialist / core staff to return from furlough or avoid redundancy to work on future sustainable activity plans
  • Increase commissioning and employment opportunities for freelance artists and creative practitioners (between now and end of March 2021) to support continued public engagement while closed.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“Our world-class performing arts venues have suffered immensely from the impacts of coronavirus. They were among some of the first businesses to close and sadly, will be amongst the last to reopen.

“We worked hard to get much-needed funding out as quickly as possible to the culture sector to help organisations cope with the immediate effects of the pandemic, and this new fund recognises the particular difficulties which continue to be felt by performing arts venues.

“I’m pleased to announce we have increased the fund to £12.5 million, which will ensure even more venues can get financial support to help them through this challenging time.”

Iain Munro, CEO, Creative Scotland said:

“We very much welcome this funding from Scottish Government which provides some much needed relief for Performing Arts Venues in Scotland, venues which are facing significant financial challenges due to their continued closure in the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. We have worked at pace to open this fund for application as quickly as possible.

“Beyond this fund, we are also working closely with the Scottish Government on further measures to provide emergency support for the culture sector and further details will be announced as soon as possible.”

Media Contact

Claire Thomson, Media Relations & PR Officer, Creative Scotland
0141 302 1708 | 0774 7606 146

Notes to Editors

1. Full details on the Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund, including fund guidance and funding submissions, can be found on the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund page.

2. The process for submitting a request for funding is as follows:

  • Step 1: Submission of an Expression of Interest to determine eligibility by 5 August 2020. Please note that all applicants are required to submit this Expression of Interest by this date in order to be considered for this fund.
  • Step 2: All Expression of Interest submissions will be responded to and decided as eligible / ineligible by 12 August 2020.
  • Step 3: A pre-application conversation between eligible applicants and a Creative Scotland officer will be required to agree the scope of the application and approximate funding request. We will contact you as soon as possible after 12 August to allow you time to develop your application.
  • Step 4: Completion of an application to be returned no later than 5pm on Thursday 27 August 2020.
  • Step 5: Decisions will be communicated no later than 24 September 2020

3. More information about COVID-19 funding and resources can be accessed via the website, and through Creative Scotland’s Resource Directory for COVID-19.

4. RFOs are organisations in receipt of three-year funding through Creative Scotland. Creative Scotland has been in dialogue with RFOs, who are Performing Arts Venues, as regards the targeted element of the Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund and we will make further announcements on this shortly. Find out more about our Regular Funding Network 2018-21.

5. On Sunday 5 July 2020, the UK Government announced £97million funding for Scotland’s culture sector. On Thursday 9 July 2020, the Scottish Government announced a separate £2.2m fund specifically aimed at independent commercial music venues. On both of these, we are working with the Scottish Government and the sector as regards how funding will be accessed, with more details to follow.

6. The Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund is an important part of Creative Scotland’s ongoing response to the country’s creative community as a result of the immediate impacts being felt due to the COVID-19 outbreak:

7. Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland on behalf of everyone who lives, works or visits here. We enable people and organisations to work in and experience the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland by helping others to develop great ideas and bring them to life. We distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery.

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