Public funding lifelines revealed for Scottish cultural venues and events

Lifeline funding has been secured by some of the biggest names in Scottish culture including Glasgow's Barrowland Ballroom, Grand Ole Opry and Pavilion Theatre, the Fruitmarket Gallery and Liquid Room in Edinburgh, and The Stand Comedy Club venues in each city.

The Barrowland Ballroom will be among the venues used for next year's 'digital first' Celtic Connections. Picture: Gaelle Beri
The Barrowland Ballroom will be among the venues used for next year's 'digital first' Celtic Connections. Picture: Gaelle Beri

High-profile events including Perth Festival, HebCelt, Knockengorroch, the Edinburgh International Magic Festival and the Tiree Music Festival have also received emergency help bring them back from the brink and survive the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The £11.75 million rescue package announced today by government arts agency Creative Scotland will also help nightclubs forced to close their doors since March, including the Fubar in Stirling the Cathouse in Glasgow, El Barrio in Edinburgh and City in Falkirk.

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Funding has been confirmed for 203 different organisations and businesses to help them stave off the threat of insolvency.

The Hebridean Celtic Festival, which is also known as Hebcelt, was among the many music festivals called off this summer. Picture: John Murdo Macaulay

However Creative Scotland was inundated with nearly 350 applications worth £22 million when the deadline for the new “recovery fund,” which has been capped at £15 million closed last month. Remaining applicants will have to wait until later this month to find out their fate.

The recovery fund, which was created to help venues and arts organisations which do not receive year-round public fundinf, was created under Scotland’s £97 million share of a £1.57bn UK-wide rescue package for the arts unveiled by Chancellor Rishi Sunak in July.

Other venues bailed out include The Ferry in Glasgow, Paradise Palms, CC Blooms, the Collective Gallery and the Corn Exchange in Edinburgh, MacGregor’s Bar in Inverness, and Hospitalfield in Arbroath.

Some of Scotland’s best-known event organisers, including Regular Music, Unique Events, Fly Events and Assembly Festival - who have been staging shows at the Fringe for more than 30 years - have also received support, along with acts like the rock band Fatherson, the singer songwriter Kathryn Joseph, and trad music favourites Skerryvore and Manran.

The Collective Gallery on Calton Hill was closed for months earlier this year due to coronavirus restrictions. Picture: Tom Nolan

Applicants were able to bid for up to £250,000 for financial support if they could demonstrate that their “existence is threatened” as a result of the pandemic and could providence evidence and that they were “critical to the cultural life of Scotland.”

Iain Munro, chief executive of Creative Scotland, said: “The funds being announced today offer some further welcome support to help protect jobs across a wide range of businesses in Scotland.

“The negative impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on Scotland‘s creative and cultural sector are clearly ongoing, and we will continue to keep focused, with the Scottish Government and other partners, on helping those people and organisations in most need.”

Scottish culture secretary Fiona Hyslop said: “The Scottish Government is determined to do everything within our powers to see the sector through this crisis.

“This emergency funding will provide vital support to a wide range of cultural organisations and venues across Scotland currently facing extreme challenges due to the coronavirus pandemic.

"It has been designed specifically to help organisations cope with the immediate issues they are facing and to help save jobs.

“I am pleased to see such a wide range of organisations supported, from comedy clubs and theatres to galleries and production companies.”

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