The Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture, outlines the current support and funding available to the creative sector in Scotland

On the 5 May 2020, Fiona Hyslop MSP outlined the support available to the creative sector throughout the coronavirus crisis.

In her answer, she noted that the Scottish Government’s total business support package for the creative sector now totals £2.3 billion. She also referenced the support of Creative Scotland, who are providing an expected total budget of £14 million of support in response to the COVID-19 situation.

The full written answer can be found below:


Scottish Parliament
5 May 2020

 Donald Cameron (Highlands and Islands) (Scottish Conservative and Unionist Party): To ask the Scottish Government what discussions it has had with creative sector leaders regarding COVID-19 funding for Creative Scotland, and whether it plans to allocate further funding to the creative sector beyond what it has already announced

Fiona Hyslop: COVID-19 is the biggest challenge we have faced in our lifetimes and the measures we take to deal with it must reflect its magnitude.

The Scottish Government recognises the importance of the creative sector and is committed to doing everything we can to ensure our world-class culture can continue to thrive.

That is why we have taken decisive steps to address the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic on those working in the creative sector.

As part of the regular contact we have with creative sector leaders I led roundtable discussions with them in early April to understand the impacts and to consider possible solutions, including funding for Creative Scotland.

Our primary focus is to support the organisations we fund and other funders in order to keep funding flowing to individuals and organisations to enable them to sustain themselves through the immediate short-term impacts, while also keeping the medium to longer term recovery in view.

We continue to work hard and quickly to understand the different impacts on the various parts of the sectors as they become clear and we will use this information to identify new measures where we find that there are significant gaps in existing support provision.

We have moved quickly to introduce a range of schemes and measures to support businesses across the economy and welcome the initiatives being introduced by the UK Government.

The Scottish Government’s total business support package now totals £2.3 billion.

Creative Scotland is providing an expected total budget of £14 million of support in response to the COVID-19 situation. The Scottish Government will continue to work urgently with Creative Scotland and Screen Scotland to use existing and new funds to support the sector, including the Third Sector Resilience Fund for Scotland-based charities, social enterprises or voluntary organisations, or organisations delivering community services and activities.

The £14 million fund is available to support those – including freelance creative practitioners – whose work in the arts, screen and creative industries has been affected by the measures introduced to reduce the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak. This includes £1.1 million of repurposed grant in aid and a further £1 million to top up Creative Scotland’s Bridging Bursaries in the notfor-profit sector from the Scottish Government as well as National Lottery funds.

I have also announced that from the 30th April the newly self-employed suffering hardship, and small and medium sized businesses (SMEs) in distress, can apply for help from a £100 million package of additional grant support.

This includes a £20 million Creative, Tourism & Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund, managed by the Enterprise Agencies with support from Creative Scotland and VisitScotland for small and micro creative, tourism and hospitality companies not in receipt of business rates relief to access grants of up to £25K.

This funding is intended to relieve the hardship of individuals and smaller firms that are ineligible for support from the UK Government or are not in receipt yet of the funds they need to survive. Our hospitality, tourism and creative sectors have been decimated by this crisis and previously profitable businesses have seen demand dry up overnight.

However, because of the decisions the Scottish Government has taken, thousands more self-employed people and small businesses will be able to benefit from support compared with elsewhere, and we have been able to help sectors of the economy that are not being supported in other parts of the UK.

Details of support for businesses are available at the Find Business Support website which is available at the following link: . This is frequently updated with the latest information.

Fuller information about the broader support for the creative sector beyond that of Creative Scotland is set out in my letter to the Convener of the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Affairs Committee of 24 April which is available here.



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