Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers opening 23 February

Funding Guidance for the Scottish Government’s £8million Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers through Creative Scotland has been published today.

The Fund offers one-off awards of between £500 and £2000 to creative freelancers working in the arts, screen and creative sectors who are experiencing immediate financial hardship due to the loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The Fund is open to Freelance professionals whose work has direct creative outcomes and those whose work directly supports the making and presentation of creative work, including events. 

The Fund will open for two rounds of applications, the first round, with a £4m budget, will open at 2pm on Wednesday 23 February, the second, also with a budget of £4m, will open at 2pm on Wednesday 02 March.   

The Fund will remain open until all budget has been allocated. It is anticipated that all eligible recipients will receive money in their account within 6 weeks of submission of a request. 

Previous recipients of Covid-19 funds for creative freelancers are eligible to apply for a further award of up to £2,000 through this round. 

Iain Munro, CEO of Creative Scotland commented: “We are very grateful for this funding from the Scottish Government to help address the ongoing challenges being faced by those working in Scotland’s creative sector. 

“Funds are finite, and we expect a high level of demand, therefore we will trust that those who request these funds are in need of emergency funding at this time. We strongly encourage people to fully consider their needs before making a request to this programme.” 

Culture Minister Neil Gray said: “We welcome the launch of Creative Scotland’s £8 million Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers. The last two years have been extremely tough for these individuals who make up a significant proportion of the workforce across the creative industries.

“Supporting freelancers to stay in the sector is crucial for the work they produce which enriches our lives and communities and the wider contribution it makes to our economy.” 

Full fund guidance, including eligibility criteria, is now available on the Creative Scotland Hardship Fund page.


The Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers is one of a series of Scottish Government emergency funds for culture and creativity being administered through Creative Scotland. 

This is part of the £16m for cultural recovery announced by the Scottish Government on Friday 18 February 2022.  

From the £12 million allocated to Creative Scotland, £1.95 million is for the major Edinburgh festivals, with £200,000 of this having been already allocated as a top up to the EXPO scheme as previously announced.  The remainder of up to £1.75 million will be made available to the Edinburgh Festivals in the form of a top-up to the Platforms for Creative Excellence Programme. The funding is available to festivals that are members of Festivals Edinburgh, subject to an application process.   

This funding will also contribute to further emergency support for cultural organisations. Further details on this will be communicated shortly.  

More information about Covid-19 funding and resources can be accessed via FindBusinessSupport.gov.scot, and through Creative Scotland’s Resource Directory for COVID-19. 

Creative Scotland is the public body that supports the arts, screen and creative industries across all parts of Scotland distributing funding provided by the Scottish Government and The National Lottery. Further information at creativescotland.com. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about the value of art and creativity in Scotland and join in at www.ourcreativevoice.scot 

Media Contact: Sophie Bambrough, Media Relations & PR Officer, Creative Scotland: [email protected]

Funding Enquiries: [email protected]