Extra covid relief for culture

Jun 3 2021 | By More

Forbes confirms “up to £40m” for Culture

The Scottish government has announced further Covid relief of “up to £40 million” for the culture sector, of which £25 million is earmarked for venues.

The announcement comes as Scotland’s cultural sector is caught without support – the previous funds were only supposed to run up until the end of March. Nor is there any real prospect of reopening as the current two metre rule is not commercially viable.

Economy Secretary Kate Forbes addresses Holyrood. Screengrab: All Edinburgh Theatre

Confirmation of the funding came from Economy Secretary Kate Forbes during her opening remarks to the economic recovery debate at Holyrood on Tuesday 2 June 2021.

She said: “we have allocated up to an additional £40 million for the culture sector, including £25 million for a further round of funding for businesses who previously received support from the Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund and the Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund for businesses who were eligible but did not receive funding originally.

“These funds are again being administered by Creative Scotland and will be launched soon.”

Creative Scotland’s CEO Iain Munro issued a statement welcoming “the £25m in additional emergency funding to help cultural organisations in Scotland address the challenges they are facing due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic”.

finalise the details

He said: “We are now working to finalise the details of this funding, which will be offered as a further iteration of the Performing Arts Venues Recovery Fund and the Culture Organisations and Venues Relief Fund, and further details on eligibility and how to apply will be announced later next week.”

Previous allocations of the two funds included the stipulation that they were to be used in part to support freelancers in the industry.

There is universal recognition from among the sector that with two metre social distancing, commercial performance is simply not viable. And even if it were, as EIF director Fergus Linehan said, the prospect of complex get-ins is “mind alteringly complicated”.


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