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Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers opens

Creative Scotland‘s Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers is now open as of 12pm on Monday 26 October. The aim of this fund is to support creative freelancers, working in Scotland, who are experiencing immediate financial hardship due to the loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The fund offers a one-off monetary contribution to those who are most deeply impacted and disadvantaged by the cancellation of work as a result of the emergency situation. In total, the Scottish Government and Creative Scotland have allocated £5 million towards this particular fund.

There is no set deadline for this fund and it will remain open whilst budget remains available.

How much can you apply for?

Bursaries can be requested for any sum from £500 – £2000.
If you have specific access needs, then you may request more than this.

Who can apply?

There is some specific wording around who can apply which can be found online by clicking the button at the bottom of this page. In summary, the fund is open to Creative Freelancers who are based in Scotland and are experiencing immediate financial difficulty due to loss of income as a result of COVID-19. To apply you must be able to demonstrate that you were working and making income as a freelance creative professional before March 2020.

Creative Scotland gives examples of Creative Freelancers as the following:

  • Freelance professionals whose work has direct creative outcomes. This can include (but is not limited to) a visual artist, a writer or maker of poetry, prose or fiction, a playwright, actor or theatre- maker, a comedian, dancer, musician, craft maker or designer. You will derive a significant proportion of your income from your role in creating or producing original artistic, creative or design material.
  • Freelance professionals whose work directly supports the making and presentation of creative work including events. This can include (but is not limited to) a theatre producer, a lighting designer, a gig promoter, an independent curator or creative producer. You will derive a significant proportion of your income from your role in supporting or producing original artistic, creative or design material and events.

Who cannot apply?

The following are not eligible to apply to this fund:

  • Those deriving the majority of their income from client-led work – for example in advertising, architecture, software/electronic publishing and from technical areas of writing and publishing such as news journalism, educational, technical, academic and professional writing
  • Those working in the screen and photography sector (as they were covered by the Screen Scotland Hardship Fund which was recently administered and applications are presently being assessed)
  • Those working in the heritage sector including interpretation consultants, designers and tour guides
  • Those who cannot demonstrate a freelance professional creative practice
  • Those currently working in paid full-time employment
  • Individuals based outside Scotland
  • Those who are currently furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and are receiving 80% or more of their full-time salary.
  • Self-employed individuals (or members of a partnership) who have received support under the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) equivalent to, or in excess of the UK living wage, pro rata, since 1 April 2020 (we calculate this as £10,114).
  • Anyone studying either full-time, or as part of a long term, formal or accredited programme at college or university (at the time of application) including PhD students
  • Academics or other education professionals not in freelance positions

How long will it take to get a decision?

Creative Scotland is aiming to ensure that all eligible recipients will receive money in their account within 6 weeks of submission of their application. If there are any delays to this, they will contact all applicants asap to notify them.

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