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Scottish performing arts venues receive £10m rescue package

Performing arts venues in Scotland have received access to a £10 million relief fund, as the government states it is "actively considering" support for GMVs

By IQ on 03 Jul 2020

Scottish venues receive £10m rescue package

Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop

image © The Scottish Government (OGL v1.0)

The Scottish government today (3 July) announced a £10 million rescue fund for performing arts venues unable to reopen due to the coronavirus crisis.

The Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund will be run by Creative Scotland, as part of a wider £185m business support fund.

The fund aims to remove the threat of insolvency for venues before the end of March 2021; allow for specialist and core staff to return from furlough or avoid redundancy to work on future sustainability plans; and increase the opportunities for the employment of freelance artists and creative practitioners.

The Scottish government also says it is “actively considering support” specifically for grassroots music venues.

“Our theatres and performing arts venues and the talented freelancers who work with them are an essential part of the fabric of Scotland’s culture and communities and promote our international reputation,” comments Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop.

“We are determined that they will survive and be able to thrive again.”

The culture secretary says she recognises that venues have experienced “an almost complete loss of income” after “effectively” having to “close overnight” with the implementation of lockdown laws.

“We will continue to urge the UK government to use their fiscal levers to back culture and creative industries with major investment”

Hyslop also notes the “difficulties” that physical distancing measures present for venues, adding that the fund “will be a vital lifeline to help performing arts venues continue to weather the storm”.

Creative Scotland chief executive Iain Munro says the “significant” fund will provide “a critical injection of cash to help meet the immediate needs of performing arts venues in Scotland”.

“[The fund] demonstrates the Scottish government’s continued commitment to culture but we also recognise that organisations and individuals working across the wider cultural sector are facing extremely challenging circumstances which, in some cases, threaten their long-term viability,” adds Munro.

The announcement comes the day after the UK live industry’s #LetTheMusicPlay campaign took social media by storm. #LetTheMusicPlay became the top trending hashtag on Twitter in the UK and worldwide, and garnered the support of artists including the Rolling Stones, Iron Maiden, Pink Floyd, Celine Dion and Sir Paul McCartney, in a bid to highlight the need for government support.

The Scottish authorities say they will “continue to urge the UK government to use their fiscal levers, such as significant borrowing powers, to back culture and creative industries with major investment.”

Applicants can access these funds and find more information here. The fund is open both to organisations that are regularly funded through Creative Scotland and those that are not.


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