Emergency Scottish Government relief funds support performing arts venues

Published: 05 Aug 2020

Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund

Twenty venues across Scotland have received a total of £7.5m from the first strand of the Scottish Government’s £12.5m Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund.

Designed to support performing arts venues that cannot yet re-open due to the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the fund is helping 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.

Recipients of the second strand of the Performing Arts Venues Fund, an open fund of £5m, will be announced in due course.

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said:

“Theatres and performing arts venues are vital to individuals, communities and our country. Our performing arts venues effectively had to close overnight, with an almost complete loss of income. There is no doubt that in doing so they saved lives, and for that I am extremely grateful.

“We know the impact of this crisis will be long-term so ambitious action to support the future of these organisations, as well as our wider cultural infrastructure, is key. This funding will be a vital lifeline to help performing arts venues continue to weather the storm.”

Iain Munro, CEO, Creative Scotland said:

“There are significant challenges facing Scotland’s culture sector, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. This funding for performing arts venues is much needed and will help organisations tackle these challenges but we are aware that budgets are finite and it is not possible to provide financial assistance to every organisation through this route at this time.

“The Covid-19 emergency funds announced for the culture sector 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 Scotland has received for culture and heritage as a result of the UK Government’s funding package 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 discuss further support for the culture sector, including for those who may not have received funding previously.”

Notes to Editors

1. Recipients of the first strand (£7.5m) of the Scottish Government’s Performing Arts Venues Fund are:


Local Authority

Award Total

Aberdeen Performing Arts

Aberdeen City


An Lanntair

Na h-Eileanan Siar


Beacon Arts Centre



CCA: Centre for Contemporary Arts

Glasgow City


Citizens Theatre

Glasgow City



Argyll and Bute


Dance Base

City of Edinburgh


Dundee Repertory Theatre

Dundee City


Eden Court Theatre and Cinema



Horsecross Arts

Perth and Kinross


Macrobert Arts Centre



Pitlochry Festival Theatre

Perth and Kinross


Platform (Glasgow East Arts Co)

Glasgow City


Royal Lyceum Theatre Company

City of Edinburgh


Shetland Arts Development Agency

Shetland Islands


The Barn



The Storytelling Centre/TRACS

City of Edinburgh



Glasgow City


Traverse Theatre

City of Edinburgh


Tron Theatre

Glasgow City


2. 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.

  • £7.5m targeted funding for performing arts venues in Scotland currently in receipt of Regular Funding through Creative Scotland. Find out more about our Regular Funding Network 2018-21.
  • £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

3. Further details about COVID-19 funding and resources can be accessed via the www.FindBusinessSupport.gov.scot website, and through Creative Scotland’s Resource Directory for COVID-19.

4. On Sunday 5 July 2020, the UK Government announced £97million funding for Scotland’s culture and heritage 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.

5. 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:

6. 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 distribute funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery.

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Media Contact

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