Scottish Government emergency funding for culture

Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund launches, alongside delivery plans for further emergency funds

Following the announcement by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, on Friday 28 August of £59m emergency funding for culture and heritage to address the ongoing impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, including £31.5m for culture, Creative Scotland today publishes details of the Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund, the first of five emergency funds to be delivered over the coming weeks.

The Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund is a £3.5million fund from the Scottish Government. The aim of the Fund is to help secure the survival of Scotland’s independent cinemas, enabling them to re-establish and adjust their business models in response to Covid-19. The fund addresses the critical financial need faced by Scotland’s independent cinemas to enable them to return to full-time operation, significantly reducing the risk of wide-spread redundancies and closure of vital community assets.

Guidelines for applying to the Fund have been published today ahead opening for applications on Monday 14 September.

Sambrooke Scott, Head of Audience Development at Screen Scotland said: “We very much welcome the First Minister’s recent announcement of £31.5m in emergency funding for culture in Scotland and are pleased, as part of that, to be able to quickly offer £3.5m of that funding to support Scotland’s independent cinemas.

"These cinemas not only present a broad range of high-quality creative programming to a varied audience, but they also serve as community hubs in geographically diverse parts of Scotland, including some of our more remote places. This fund will offer a vital lifeline to those independent cinemas which have been impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, helping them to return to full-time operation and protect jobs.”

The Independent Cinema Recovery and Resilience Fund is the first of five new emergency funds to be delivered by Creative Scotland over the coming weeks as follows:

  • The £15m Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund will support organisations that provide opportunities for cultural engagement and who have been unable to trade due to the impact of Covid-19. It includes both organisations who provide opportunities for audience engagement (such as galleries, performing arts spaces, commercial theatres, comedy clubs and nightclubs) as well as those that enable and deliver cultural activity (such as production facilities, music and dance companies). Eligibility criteria and guidelines for applying are currently in development and will be published on Thursday 10 September. The fund will open for applications on Thursday 17 September and awards will be made by the first week in November.
  • The £5m Creative Freelancer Hardship Fund will address the current financial hardship being felt by creative freelancers who normally work in the culture sector, but whose work has been impacted by Covid-19. We are currently working to appoint partners to ensure a wide spread of coverage of this fund and we anticipate opening for applications in early October.
  • The £5m Sustaining Creative Practice Fund will support artists to continue developing new creative work that will make a significant contribution to Scotland’s recovery from Covid-19. This includes £1.5 million for the Culture Collective programme, mentioned in the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government, supporting organisations employing freelance artists to work in and with communities across Scotland. The remaining £3.5m will be added to Creative Scotland’s existing open fund which is open for applications from individuals now.
  • The £3m Youth Arts Fund will ensure creative opportunities for children and young people continue to exist across Scotland despite the Covid-19 pandemic. The fund will include targeted and open funding to youth music and wider youth arts organisations, a scheme to devolve grants locally to artists who work with young people and small grants delivered directly to young people to support them fulfil their creative ambitions.

Details of all funds will be published on the Creative Scotland website and publicised through media and social media communications.

More information

These funds follow on from the previously announced £12.5 million Performing Arts Venue Relief Fund and £2.2 million support for Grassroots Music Venue Relief Fund and come as part of the £97 million in UK Government consequentials for the culture and heritage sectors and £23.5m awarded through the Creative, Tourism, Hospitality and Hardship Fund and £128m through the Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund.

The Scottish Government’s announcement of Friday 28 August can be found here:

More information about Covid-19 funding and resources can be accessed via the website, and through Creative Scotland’s Resource Directory for Covid-19.


Media Enquiries: Wendy Grannon, Media Relations & PR Manager
[email protected] | 07916 137 632

Funding Enquiries: [email protected]