£57m for culture

Aug 28 2020 | By More

Another £57m consequentials allocated

The Scottish Government has allocated a further £57m of the £97m Barnet consequentials reserved for the covid-19 response to the cultural sector.

Two major elements of the money are a £15m Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund to safeguard key parts of our cultural infrastructure, and £5m to address the immediate financial hardship faced by creative freelancers.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during her press briefing on Friday 28 August 2020. Screengrab: Thom Dibdin

The announcement was made during First Minister Nicola Sturgeon’s daily Covid-19 press briefing and comes after sustained criticism that more than £74m of the consequentials for culture remain unallocated.

Outlining the remit for the Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund, the First Minister said: “the fund will offer support to commercial theatres, galleries, comedy venues, orchestras, theatre and dance companies, larger music venues, nightclubs, production facilities and studios.

“Its aim is to protect jobs, offer increased opportunities for freelancers, remove the threat of insolvency, and support a valuable and sustainable future for organisations and venues.”

details available next week 

Creative Scotland will oversee the funding and say that they are establishing the details of the funds and how they can be accessed. More information will be made available next week through their website.

According to information already available, the package also includes £5 million to support artists to continue developing new creative work that will make a significant contribution to Scotland’s recovery from Covid-19. This will include £1.5 million for the Culture Collective programme to support organisations employing freelance artists to work in communities across Scotland

The funding also includes £21.3 million for Historic Environment Scotland, an additional £5.9 million to support heritage organisations through committed grants, £3.5 million for independent cinemas and £3 million for youth arts including a funding boost for the Youth Music Initiative which will provide work for musicians.

more needed

In a statement outlining her support for this funding, Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop admitted that the package is not adequate to address all the needs brought about in the culture sector by the Covid-19 pandemic.

She said: “As extensive as this package of support is, we know there will still be more needed. Culture and heritage are vitally important to all of our lives in Scotland, at this time more than ever.

“Without significant borrowing powers, there is only so much the Scottish Government can do. I urge the UK Government to consider extending the furlough scheme, to ensure longer term support as we continue to navigate this crisis.”

Iain Munro, Creative Scotland Chief Executive, said: “We very much welcome this significant announcement of much needed emergency support.

“This follows a great deal of work involving Creative Scotland and the Scottish Government, but also many people and organisations from across Scotland’s cultural community. We appreciate the challenges that everyone working in culture is facing and are pleased to now be able to offer some clarity.

“Creative Scotland will continue to work at pace to deliver this emergency funding to where it’s needed as quickly as possible.”

Creative Scotland: https://www.creativescotland.com


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