Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund launches

Published: 10 Sep 2020

Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund

Creative Scotland today publishes details of the Scottish Government’s Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund, which forms part of the £31.5m emergency funding for culture announced by the First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, on 28 August.

The £15 million Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund aims to provide emergency support to organisations that provide opportunities for cultural engagement and have been unable to trade due to the impact of Covid-19. Its primary aim is to protect jobs and to support the sustainability of organisations threatened by insolvency in the short to medium term.

Eligibility criteria and guidelines for applying to the Fund have been published today ahead opening for applications on Thursday 17 September.

Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop said:

“It’s been an extremely difficult time for the culture sector this year. We’ve done everything we can to alleviate some of the immediate challenges but we know many businesses will continue to struggle until they can fully reopen.

“The Culture Organisations and Venue Recovery Fund will aid a range of cultural businesses and help them weather the most critical challenges they face. I’m grateful to Creative Scotland for the pace they’ve worked at to develop the funding and its distribution.”

Iain Munro, CEO, Creative Scotland said:

“The challenges presented to the culture and creative sector by the Covid-19 pandemic are only too real and are not going to go away quickly or easily. That’s why this additional emergency funding from the Scottish Government is so welcome.

“Our top priority is the delivery of these funds to the sector as quickly as possible and the launch today of the Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund is an important step in providing much needed support. While we know that this funding won’t be able to meet every challenge, it will help to protect jobs and support the sustainability of organisations wherever possible.”

The Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund is the second of five new emergency funds from the Scottish Government being delivered by Creative Scotland as follows:

  • The £3.5m Independent Cinemas Recovery and Resilience Fund, announced on Thursday 3 September, is helping to secure the survival of Scotland’s independent cinemas, enabling them to re-establish and adjust their business models in response to Covid-19. The fund opens for applications on Monday 14 September.
  • The £5m Creative Freelancer Hardship Fund will address the current financial hardship being felt by creative freelancers who normally work in the culture sector but whose work has been impacted by Covid-19. We will be issuing an open call for partner organisations to help us distribute this fund on Friday 11 September.
  • The £5m Sustaining Creative Practice Fund will support artists to continue developing new creative work that will make a significant contribution to Scotland’s recovery from COVID-19. This includes £1.5 million for the Culture Collective programme, mentioned in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government, supporting organisations employing freelance artists to work in and with communities across Scotland. The remaining £3.5m has been added to Creative Scotland’s existing open fund which is open for applications from individuals now.
  • The £3m Youth Arts Fund will ensure creative opportunities for children and young people continue to exist across Scotland despite the Covid-19 pandemic. Details of this fund are currently being finalised and will be announced week commencing 14 September.

The previously announced £2.2m Grassroots Music Venue Sustainability Fund closed for applications on 3 September. The fund has received 97 applications and awards will be announced on 22 September.

The £5m open call element of the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund closed for applications on 27 August. The fund received 42 applications and awards will be announced by 24 September.

Updates on all emergency funds will be published regularly on the Creative Scotland website and publicised through media and social media communications.


  1. Full details about the fund including eligibility criteria, can be found on the Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund page.
  2. The launch of this fund follows on from the previously announced £3.5million Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund,  £12.5 million Performing Arts Venues Relief fund, £2.2 million support for Grassroots Music Venues Stabilisation Fund, and come as part of the £97 million in UK Government consequentials for the culture and heritage sectors and £23.5m awarded through the Creative, Tourism, Hospitality and Hardship Fund and £128m through the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund.
  3. This also follows £23.5m previously awarded through the Creative, Tourism, Hospitality and Hardship Fund and £128m through the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund.
  4. Read the Scottish Government’s announcement of Friday 28 August of £59m emergency funding for culture and heritage.
  5. More information about Covid-19 funding and resources can be accessed via, and through Creative Scotland’s Resource Directory for COVID-19.
  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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