Scottish Government emergency funding for culture

Published: 03 Sep 2020

Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund launches, alongside delivery plans for further emergency funds

Photo of a small cinema with red chairs and a few people looking at a screen

Following the announcement by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, on Friday 28 August of £59m emergency funding for culture and heritage to address the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including £31.5m for culture, Creative Scotland today publishes details of the Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund, the first of five emergency funds to be delivered over the coming weeks.

The Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund is a £3.5million fund from the Scottish Government. The aim of the Fund is to help 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 addresses the critical financial need faced by Scotland’s independent cinemas to enable them to return to full-time operation, significantly reducing the risk of wide-spread redundancies and closure of vital community assets.

Guidelines for applying to the Fund have been published today ahead of opening for applications on Monday 14 September.

The Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund is the first of five new emergency funds to be delivered by Creative Scotland over the coming weeks as follows:

  • The £15m Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund will support organisations that provide opportunities for cultural engagement and who have been unable to trade due to the impact of Covid-19. It includes both organisations who provide opportunities for audience engagement (such as galleries, performing arts spaces, commercial theatres, comedy clubs and nightclubs) as well as those that enable and deliver cultural activity (such as production facilities, music and dance companies). Eligibility criteria and guidelines for applying are currently in development and will be published on Thursday 10 September. The fund will open for applications on Thursday 17 September and awards will be made by the first week in November.
  • 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 are currently working to appoint partners to ensure a wide spread of coverage of this fund and we anticipate opening for applications from early October.
  • 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 will be 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. The fund will include targeted and open funding to youth music and wider youth arts organisations, a scheme to devolve grants locally to artists who work with young people and small grants delivered directly to young people to support them fulfil their creative ambitions.

Details of all funds will be published on the Creative Scotland website and publicised through media and social media communications.


  1. These funds follow on from the previously announced £12.5 million Performing Arts Venues Relief fund and £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.
  2. Read the Scottish Government’s announcement of Friday 28 August of £59m emergency funding for culture and heritage.
  3. More information about Covid-19 funding and resources can be accessed via, and through Creative Scotland’s Resource Directory for COVID-19.
  4. 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

Wendy Grannon, Media Relations & PR Manager | 07916 137 632

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Photo by © Mr. Music on Adobe Stock