Launch of Youth Arts emergency funding

Published: 17 Sep 2020

Youth Arts Emergency Funding

Launch of Scottish Government Youth Arts emergency funding and update on other emergency funds

Details are announced today of the first two funds of a £3million Scottish Government emergency funding package designed to ensure creative opportunities for children and young people continue across Scotland in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

A total of at least £1.2million in now available through the Access to Youth Arts Fund. Building on the successful Youth Music Initiative (YMI) Access to Music Making Fund, this is designed to support an increased range of music-making projects, as well as introducing projects delivering across wider art-form areas. Fund guidelines including eligibility criteria and application forms can be accessed on the Access to Youth Arts Fund page.

The roll out of the Youth Arts funds will continue on Thursday 24 September with the launch of a £700,000 Small Grants Scheme which will be open to organisations and local authorities and will provide funding directly to freelance artists to undertake artist led youth arts activities within communities. Full details will be announced on Thursday 24 September.

A further £50,000 is being assigned to the Time to Shine Nurturing Talent Fund which provides direct support to young people to develop and produce their own creative projects.

In addition, £1,050,000 is being allocated to support a number of targeted national and local area youth music and wider youth arts organisations with established track records and existing relationships with freelancers working with the fund’s priority groups to support the recovery and renewal of youth arts provision. These organisations will be invited to apply for the Youth Arts Targeted Fund by Tuesday 13 October.

Culture Secretary, Fiona Hyslop said: “We are determined that our children and young people will not miss out on creative opportunities a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Art and music in particular have helped many people during lockdown, so the launch of these funds is very welcome. Our musicians, artists and other practitioners working in the youth arts sector are also highly skilled and often highly specialised, and this funding will provide jobs and opportunities within the sector.”

Iain Munro, Chief Executive, Creative Scotland said: “I’m pleased to be able to announce today the roll out of additional funding support for Youth Arts, a vital part of Scotland’s cultural sector and an important part of the emergency funding package announced a few weeks ago by the First Minister. It’s right that part of that overall emergency package supports artists, freelancers and organisations working with young people and that creative opportunities for young people continue despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.”

The Youth Arts funds are the latest of five new emergency funds from Scottish Government through Creative Scotland, announced by the First Minister on Friday 28 August, as follows:

  • The £15million Culture Organisation and Venues Recovery Fund, which has opened for applications today, Thursday 17 September, with a deadline of Thursday 24 September.
  • The £3.5million Independent Cinemas Recovery and Resilience Fund, which opened for applications on Monday 14 September with a deadline of Monday 5 October.
  • The £5million Creative Freelancer Hardship Fund for which we issued an open call for partner organisations to help us distribute this fund on Friday 11 September with a deadline of Friday 25 September. We aim to be able to distribute funds from October. The Screen element of these Hardship Funds will open for applications on Tuesday 22 September.
  • The £5million Sustaining Creative Practice Fund includes £1.5million 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 £3.5million has been added to Creative Scotland’s existing open fund which is open for applications from individuals now.

Previously announced, the £2.2million Grassroots Music Venue Sustainability Fund closed for applications on Thursday 3 September. The fund has received 97 applications and awards will be announced on Tuesday 22 September. And the £5million open call element of the Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund closed for applications on Thursday 27 August. The fund received 42 applications and awards will be announced by Thursday 24 September.

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


  1. Today’s launch of the Youth Arts emergency funding package represents part of the Scottish Government’s announcement of Friday 28 August of £59million emergency funding for culture and heritage. That funding comes from the £97million in UK Government consequentials for the culture and heritage sectors.
  2. This is in addition to the £23.5million previously awarded through the Creative, Tourism, Hospitality and Hardship Fund and £128million through the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund.
  3. More information about Covid-19 funding and resources can be accessed via, and through Creative Scotland’s Resource Directory for COVID-19.

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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