New report reveals £85.3m emergency COVID funds reached arts, screen and creative industries from March 2020 to September 2021

Creative Scotland ,
11 August 2022, Scotland

A new independent report published today, Thursday 11 August confirms that emergency COVID-19 funds of £85.3m from the Scottish Government, distributed through Creative Scotland, reached individuals and organisations working in Scotland’s culture and creative sector, between March 2020 and September 2021.

Commissioned to evaluate the delivery of the funds, the EKOS report findings include:

  • 82% of organisations surveyed said that the funds had prevented job losses and prevented insolvency
  • Individuals surveyed described the funds as a lifeline, providing peace of mind and validation of their worth
  • The emergency funds reached far and wide and played a vital role in sustaining the creative sector throughout the worst of the pandemic
  • Almost 12,500 funding awards were made to both individuals and organisations – around 10 times the number usually made in any given year
  • The processes for developing and delivering the funds were effective.  The high volume of awards distributed in a relatively short timeframe, demonstrated the scale of the achievement
  • Applicants rated the process positively, saying it was clear and straightforward with quick turnaround and payments

This £85.3m was subsequently enhanced with a further £54m in emergency funds, distributed between January and March 2022.

Alastair Evans, Creative Scotland’s Director of Strategy and Planning said:

“Our sole priority throughout the worst of the pandemic was to keep funding rolling and get it straight to individuals and organisations at the time of need. 

“The vital funding from the Scottish Government enabled creative freelancers and organisations to stabilise during these turbulent times, helping to protect jobs and livelihoods across the sector.

“While we know that the funding hasn’t been able to meet every challenge, this report confirms that it has helped to strengthen resilience, stimulate activity and has enabled the sector to focus on the process of recovery.”