Thanks to the newest upgrade to Covid-19’s asset pack, Omicron, rumours of yet another lockdown are starting to circle. In response to this, the chancellor is teaming up with Arts Council England to offer an additional £1.5 million in grants for creative freelancers in England. Not to be outdone, the Scottish government also announced a whopping £8m to support creative freelancers in the coming months. So - who is this money for and how can you apply?

Arts Council England have split this round of emergency funding into three pots, designed to support different types of creative freelancers in the arts industry. These pots will be managed by charities working closely with workers in these sectors.

COVID funding crisis videographer

The a-n Artists Information Company
This £200,000 investment focuses on providing financial support for artists working in all visual arts disciplines, self-employed professionals working in visual arts and those who support artists with the production of their work. Unfortunately, there isn’t currently any further details about this grant, but the specifics will be available on the a-n website during January.

Help Musicians
This £650,000 investment will support self-employed and unemployed professional musicians across the country. Help Musicians will be surveying musicians throughout January to ensure their support provides the most effective safety net for those most affected by the pandemic. The details on how to apply will be on the Help Musicians website once these surveys are complete, expect this to be around the later end of January.

Theatre Artists Fund
This £650,000 investment is geared towards freelance professional theatre workers who are in need of urgent and critical financial support. They aim to provide short-term relief to those most affected, particularly from underrepresented groups who have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic. This fund is the only one open for applications at the time of writing, and will remain open until 12 noon on Monday 10th January. The Theatre Artists Fund has provided a list of the job titles that are eligible to apply on their website. For those of you that make the cut, you can also apply on the same page.

For creative freelancers working in the arts, screen and creative sectors who have had performances, exhibitions or shows cancelled due to the pandemic, Creative Scotland is here to help!

COVID funding investment

Covid-19 Cancellation Fund for Creative Freelancers
This £8 million fund is focused on creative freelancers based and working in Scotland who are experiencing immediate financial hardship due to cancelled or postponed shows. This fund is open to both freelancers whose work has direct creative outcomes and those who directly support the making and presentation of creative work. Details on exactly who this applies to can be found on page 4 of the guidance notes.

If you fall into one of these categories and were supposed to have an event during 21 November 2021 and 21 March 2022 that has now been cancelled or postponed, you can request between £500 - £2000 to offset this lost income. Applications open at 2pm on Thursday 6th January and will continue until the first £4 million has been used, with the remaining £4 million to be used for a second round later in the year. You’ll need a My Creative Scotland account to apply, which you can sign up for in advance on the Creative Scotland website.

After such a difficult period for these industries, this announcement comes as a welcome relief. It’s great to finally be seeing support from the government for the creative sector. Hopefully this is only the beginning!

Preview Photo: Anthony Shkraba