Covid-19 (Coronavirus) Updates

Updates from Screen Scotland on the evolving situation regarding Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

Screen Scotland Response to Covid-19 Impact

The situation regarding Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is extremely challenging for Scotland’s film and TV industry, and we recognise the serious personal and professional impacts for screen sector companies, freelancers and staff.

Screen Scotland wants to reassure Scotland’s screen practitioners right across the sector that we are assessing the situation and working closely with our colleagues at the Scottish Government, funded organisations and the wider sector to understand the ongoing impact to businesses and to monitor for critical situations arising. We continue to  advocate for specific interventions to support the screen sector through this outbreak, for as long as it may last.

Current activity across the team includes participation in BFI Screen Sector Taskforce (as well as Inward Investment Working Group, Distribution and Exhibition Working Group and Indie Film Production Working Group), British Film Commission Recovery Group, Film Skills Council, British Screen Forum, Pact, Creative Industries Partnership, TV Working Group, Screen Training Alliance.


Guidelines for working safely during Covid-19

Scotland is currently in Phase 3 of lockdown. The Scottish Government regulations for working can be found on Page 10 of Scotland's Routemap.

For more information, please visit our page on COVID-19: Advice for returning to production.

GuidancePublished By
Working Safely During COVID-19 in Film and High-end TV Drama ProductionThe British Film Commission
Industry wide approach to producing television safelyBECTU and PACT
COVID-19 Guidance for CinemasUK Cinema Association
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance on film and high-end TV productionScottish Government
Coronavirus (COVID-19): guidance for cinemas and drive-in cinemasScottish Government

Resource Directory for Covid-19 Support

Our team have put together a directory of current Covid-19 updates around funding and support information across support groups and organisations relevant to our sector. We will continue to update this.


UK Government Support

We advise everyone to check the most up-to-date information and advice from the UK Government on their support programmes for the self-employed and freelancers, such as the Job Retention Scheme and Self Employment Income Support scheme.

We are continuing to gather information on the impacts that Covid-19 in the Scottish screen sector and are actively engaging with the Scottish Government to discuss further potential measures and support. We will provide regular updates as this work progresses.


Screen Scotland Funding

We previously announced measures to support those in receipt of funding, including that all funding awards already committed will be honoured regardless of whether the funded activity is cancelled, reduced or rescheduled.

We responded further to the unprecedented circumstances the Scottish screen sector is currently facing by launching to new funds in parallel with Creative Scotland:

  • A £1.5million Screen Bridging Bursary programme provided one-off bursaries of £500 to £2,500 to freelance PAYE and self-employed screen sector workers who are experiencing immediate financial difficulty due to loss of income as a result of the Covid-19. The Screen Bridging Bursary is now closed.
  • Screen Scotland has also developed Single Project Development Funding Routes for Scotland’s independent film and tv production companies to develop creative and ambitious projects across film and television in scripted and unscripted genres, for live-action and animation over the coming months. These Single Project Development Funding Routes are now closed.
  • The Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund aims to bridge the significant immediate financial gap faced by independently owned cinemas during reopening and operation in the short-term. The financial support will cover a proportion of venue fixed costs until end of March 2021. The total budget for this fund is £3.5m. The funding comes from the Scottish Government. This fund is now closed.
  • The Screen Hardship Fund has been provided by Scottish Government to support freelance screen practitioners working in all parts of Scotland’s screen sector who are experiencing immediate financial hardship due to the loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is part of Scottish Government’s £5m commitment to support creative freelancers who are experiencing hardship due to lost income from work and/or practice in the creative sector due to COVID-19 that is being distributed by Creative Scotland and external partners. This fund is now closed.

Information for those who have existing funding awards

Those currently in receipt of Screen Scotland funding may wish to explore whether activity can be deferred until later in the year. However, if this is not possible, all funding awards already committed will be honoured- regardless of whether the funded activity is cancelled, reduced or rescheduled.

As a condition of this support, we ask all recipients to honour contracts agreed with freelancers and artists and to think about what help they can offer their communities.

Information for those who have a funding application currently under consideration

All current applications will still be assessed using the published guidance, however we are currently communicating individually with all applicants to make them aware that we need to take current Scottish Government advice and guidelines around Covid-19 into account as part of the assessment process.

While we hope to meet current timetables for current applications, we anticipate that there may be a delay of up to two weeks before we are able to notify applicants of our funding decision.

Information for any new applications

In the meantime, we have taken the difficult decision to stop accepting applications for the following funds:

Temporarily pausing applications on these funds will enable us to focus on providing specific support in response to the current Covid-19 situation.

All other funds remain open to applications in support of activity which complies with the latest advice from the Scottish Government regarding Covid-19.


Contacting us

The latest Government advice on Coronavirus is to limit social contact. This means we are no longer able to accept visitors to our Edinburgh Office and our Glasgow Office is now closed. Many of our staff are now working from home, but we are still very much available to speak by email and phone.

You can find our key staff contacts here: Staff contacts list

For enquiries specifically regarding Coronavirus and how it will impact the screen sector, please email coronavirus-queries@creativescotland.com.

The Creative Scotland enquiries email address remains open, please see details below.

Enquiries Line

Depending on your enquiry there are number of ways to get in touch with us. A good place to start is the FAQs section but you can also contact the Creative Scotland Enquiries Service by emailing enquiries@creativescotland.com.

Screen Commission Enquiries

For enquiries relating to filming in Scotland, you can contact our Screen Commission via email at locations@creativescotland.

As most of our staff are working from home, contact details for our Screen Commission’s remote telephone numbers are listed below:

  • Brodie Pringle, Head of Screen Commission: +44 7970 082 463
  • Louise Harris, Screen Commission Officer: +44 7970 082 641
  • Caris Pittendreigh, Screen Commission Officer: +44 7967 823 599