Future Funding for Organisations - August 2022 Update

Published: 01 Aug 2022

This is an update on our work to develop the Future Funding Framework, including Multi-Year Funding and the revised Open Fund for Organisations. It follows on from our previous update provided in February 2022.

In that update we outlined our intention to develop the new funds through Summer 2022 with an aim to begin introducing the new Multi-Year Funding Programme from Autumn 2022.

This schedule was based on having a degree of budget certainty following the outcome of the Scottish Government Resource Spending Review which was concluding at the end of May. However, we do not now anticipate having this certainty until the end of 2022. It is therefore prudent to move the implementation of the Multi-Year Funding Programme to early 2023.

We recognise that many organisations we fund have received relatively unchanged levels of funding for a number of years and that this is increasingly unviable. This reinforces the need for us to be clear on the budget we have available to us before opening the Programme to applications, as the scope and scale of the funding we will be able to provide will ultimately depend on the budgets at our disposal.

We know from the Scottish Government’s Resource Spending Review that our budget settlement over the coming three to four years is expected to be highly challenging. The demand for funds will make the process very competitive.

As set out previously, the new process draws extensively on the Funding Review that we concluded in early 2020 and which had significant input from the cultural and creative sector. The Multi-Year Funding Programme will be a refreshed and streamlined online 2-stage process, with criteria linked to our Strategic Framework and an underlying ambition to ensure all regular funding relationships are managed through a common approach.

Planning timeline for Multi-Year Funding

The planned schedule for the Multi-Year Funding Programme is as below:

Pre-application phase, including external information sessions

November 2022 - January 2023

Guidance published

End January 2023

Stage 1 Applications via online portal

March - April 2023

Stage 1 Assessments

May – July 2023

Stage 1 Decisions

End July 2023

Stage 2 Applications via online portal

August - October 2023

Stage 2 Assessments

November 2023 - January 2024

Stage 2 Decisions

February 2024


February - March 2024

Multi-Year Funding begins

April 2024

Each Stage will be competitive and success is not guaranteed, given we expect to receive a high volume of applications requesting funding well in excess of the available budget. For any current Regularly Funded Organisation which is unsuccessful in their application for Multi-Year funding, we would aim to offer funding for a set period to provide transition time for the organisation.

Note: We will continue to prepare and work to this timeline but it may require to be revisited should we not secure sufficient budget certainty from the Scottish Government at the end of 2022.

Update on the plans to revise the Open Fund for Organisations

Alongside the introduction of our new Multi-Year Programme, through 2022/23, we will continue to run our Open Funds, our Targeted Funds and our funding for Screen Scotland, all of which are detailed in our recently published Annual Plan 2022/23, which includes a restating of our Strategic Framework.

The Open Fund for Organisations is currently being revised and will be relaunched in October 2022 with two distinct strands. The main Open Fund for Organisations will continue to be a rolling programme, offering up to £100k, but with a new online application and assessment process.

A separate time-limited strand will offer funding of up to £200k for activity lasting up to 24 months. In order to manage the process for this strand, it will have deadlines (dates to be confirmed) and is particularly designed to meet the needs of organisations currently funded annually through project funding and who wish to apply for support from the Multi-Year Programme.

Further updates and pre-application information sessions

We will continue to publish updates on the new funding approach as it develops and we will also be scheduling pre-application information sessions for any interested organisations between November and January. We will publicise these over the coming weeks.

In the meantime, any questions you might have can be directed to our Enquiries service. And if not already done so, please sign up for our newsletter for regular updates.