Creative Scotland has revealed that 865 people have received grants of £500 to £2,500 in the first round of its bursary programme.
In excess of £1.5 million in National Lottery and Scottish Government money has been distributed to freelance artists and practitioners across Scotland.
Cabinet secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This is a deeply worrying time for Scotland’s world-renowned culture sector, which has been particularly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Many artists, performers and freelancers have seen an immediate shutdown of work, resulting in a dramatic loss of income, with many facing real hardship.
“We want to do all we can to help and, working quickly with Creative Scotland, we have repurposed grant money and built packages of focused support for those who need it most. More than 850 individual freelancers and artists who have lost income due to COVID-19 will now receive a vital lifeline from the Bridging Bursary Fund to help them through this extremely difficult time.
“Culture is central to who we are. It is one of Scotland’s major strengths and it will continue to play a crucial part in getting us through this crisis as we rebuild our country and look toward the future.”
Creative Scotland chief executive Iain Munro added: “In the midst of the very serious personal and professional impacts being experienced by so many people working across the creative sector, it is encouraging to be able to report today, that these vital funds are reaching so many people so quickly.
“Nevertheless, while the measures we’ve already undertaken are responding to the initial impact of this crisis, we recognise that they are limited when compared to the significant future challenges faced by our arts screen and creative industries sectors. Our absolute priority is now about concentrating our efforts to safeguard and protect their longer-term future.”
Further information on the funding programme can be found here: https://www.creativescotland.com/what-we-do/latest-news/archive/2020/05/emergency-funds
Neil McGrory , Local Democracy Reporting Service