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Emergency funds reaching Scotland’s culture sector

By Louise Glen

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Creative Scotland bursary announcement.
Creative Scotland bursary announcement.

Emergency funds designed to support people working in Scotland’s culture sector who are experiencing immediate financial difficulty as a result of Covid–19, are now reaching those most in need.

Information published by Creative Scotland, reveals that 865 people have now received one off grants of between £500-£2,500, in the first phase of the Creative Scotland Arts and Creative Bridging Bursary programme.

A combination of existing funding from The National Lottery and Scottish Government, over £1.5million has been distributed to date to freelance artists and creative practitioners based in each of Scotland’s local authority areas.

Cabinet secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This is a deeply worrying time for Scotland’s world-renowned culture sector, which has been particularly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Many artists, performers and freelancers have seen an immediate shutdown of work, resulting in a dramatic loss of income, with many facing real hardship.

“We want to do all we can to help and, working quickly with Creative Scotland, we have repurposed grant money and built packages of focused support for those who need it most. More than 850 individual freelancers and artists who have lost income due to Covid–19 will now receive a vital lifeline from the Bridging Bursary Fund to help them through this extremely difficult time.

“Culture is central to who we are. It is one of Scotland’s major strengths and it will continue to play a crucial part in getting us through this crisis as we rebuild our country and look toward the future.”

Iain Munro, chief executive of Creative Scotland said: “In the midst of the very serious personal and professional impacts being experienced by so many people working across the creative sector, it is encouraging to be able to report today, that these vital funds are reaching so many people so quickly.

“Nevertheless, while the measures we’ve already undertaken are responding to the initial impact of this crisis, we recognise that they are limited when compared to the significant future challenges faced by our arts screen and creative industries sectors.Our absolute priority is now about concentrating our efforts to safeguard and protect their longer-term future.”

The Scottish and UK governments are also offering support to those most in need and information about these alternative sources of funding alongside resources and sector specific support groups and organisations, can be accessed through Creative Scotland’s website.

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