Covid-19 focused Support for Scotland’s screen sector

In response to the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, today we are announcing new funding and support for Scotland’s screen sector.

Screen Bridging Bursary programme

A £1.5million Screen Bridging Bursary programme will provide 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. Full guidelines can be found here and applications will be open on Monday 30 March 2020.

Single Project Development Funding Routes

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.

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 before making a request to the Bridging Bursary programme.

The Bridging Bursary will aim to support those most in need at this time, particularly those who are least likely to benefit from the recently announced Job Retention Scheme and Self Employment Income Support scheme.


Isabel Davis, Executive Director at Screen Scotland said: “We have been listening closely to what the industry in Scotland have asked of us and we hope that the new funding measures announced today will provide the support that freelance screen practitioners and independent production companies so desperately need now.

"These are incredibly uncertain times for the screen sector and we are committed to doing everything we can to provide support and advice to those who need it.”

Cabinet Secretary for Culture Fiona Hyslop said: “The impact of coronavirus is being felt everywhere. But the closure of cinemas, theatres, music venues and the many other places, combined with the high numbers of freelance and self-employed workers in the sector means the effects are particularly acute. It is vital we act now to help those whose income streams have been reduced to zero without warning. This new Bridging Bursaries Fund will support those workers through this unprecedented time.

“To help protect jobs, prevent business closures and promote economic recovery the Scottish Government has announced a £2.2 billion package of support for businesses including a year of non-domestic rates relief and one-off grants. The recent announcement from the UK Government on support for those who are self-employed is welcome, and is particularly crucial to this sector, but June is simply too late and we will continue to press for more immediate support.

“Along with Creative Scotland and Screen Scotland, we continue to work urgently to use existing and new funds to support the sector, including the £20 million Third Sector Resilience Fund for Scotland-based charities, social enterprises or voluntary organisation, or organisations delivering community services and activities. The National Performing Companies are making various arrangements to safeguard their staff, artists and creative personnel during the current pandemic.

“I would encourage everyone to keep up to date with the latest information and support on the Creative Scotland, Scottish Enterprise and Scottish Government websites. Scotland’s Culture Strategy makes it clear that the arts and creativity are essential to our wellbeing, and we are working to support activity that will help the people of Scotland through these difficult times.”

Further updates

Further updates and information from Screen Scotland throughout the Covid-19 outbreak will be shared at screen.scot/coronavirus and on Twitter @screenscots.

Notes to Editors

Budget for these new funds will come from Screen Scotland’s existing budgets which combine funding from the Scottish Government and The National Lottery.

Screen Scotland is the dedicated partnership for screen in Scotland. Sitting within Creative Scotland, it is a partnership with Scottish Enterprise, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, Skills Development Scotland, Scottish Funding Council, working in close collaboration with the sector to ensure its success. With funding from Scottish Government and The National Lottery, Screen Scotland is driving the cultural, social and economic development of all aspects of the sector in Scotland, through enhanced funding, services and support. For further information please visit: screen.scot, and follow @screenscots on Twitter and Instagram.

Media contact

Eilidh Walker
Media Relations and PR Officer - Screen
M: 00 44 (0)7545 402 064
Eilidh.Walker@creativescotland.com