Hardship Fund for creative freelancers opens for applications on October 26

The Scottish Government’s £5 million Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers opens for applications next Monday.

Pandemic casualty...with so many events cancelled due to Covid-19, creative freelancers have been hit hard.
Pandemic casualty...with so many events cancelled due to Covid-19, creative freelancers have been hit hard.

Crafts Council and Craft Scotland, Help Musicians, Society of Authors and Visual Arts Scotland will assist Creative Scotland in its delivery.

And the Broadcasting, Entertainment, Communications and Theatre Union (BECTU) is also expected to join the delivery team.

It is hoped the partners’ expertise will ensure funds reach as many freelancers as possible.

Iain Munro, CEO at Creative Scotland, said: “There is no end in sight to the Covid-19 pandemic and the significant impact it is having on Scotland’s creative sector.

“With welcome financial support from the Scottish Government, this fund offers much needed support for creative freelancers who have been particularly hard hit.

“Creative Scotland is working hard with our partners to ensure this support reaches those in need as quickly as possible.”


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

These funds have been put in place to help mitigate the immediate impacts of Covid-19 on the sector,

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “This is an extremely worrying time for many people involved in culture and creative industries, particularly creative freelancers whose work is integral not only to the economy but to the well-being of individuals and communities.

“Many continue to face uncertain futures while much of their sectors remain unable to operate. It is important that we can offer financial support while we continue to navigate our way through the pandemic.”

The Hardship Fund is one of five new emergency funds announced by the First Minister on Friday, August 28, which are being delivered through Creative Scotland.

The £15 million Culture Organisation and Venues Recovery Fund has received 348 applications, totalling over £22 million.


A £3.5 million Independent Cinemas Recovery and Resilience Fund received 27 applications totalling £3.55million.

Some £3.5 million is powering Creative Scotland’s Open Fund which is now open for applications. The threshold has recently been increased from £50,000 to £100,000.

And the £3 million Youth Arts funding package comprises of £1.2 million through the Access to Youth Arts Fund which will be open to applications until Thursday, November 12 and the £700,000 Small Grants Scheme is open to applications until November 2.

The Hardship Fund opens for applications at noon on Monday, October 26, with the criteria being published on Thursday, October 22.