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COVID-19: Funding Opportunities

[Article last updated: 1st Feb 2021]

As the majority of us are adjusting to this new digital working world, it can be a difficult time for anyone. We're here to help and will continue to share useful resources, funding opportunities and light-hearted relief through our social media channels, communications and digital events programme.

With many experiencing financial difficulties, we've collated a list of grants and funding available to help you in light of COVID-19, with a short description and links to applications for each. Due to the circumstances, closing dates are interchangeable and you can click through for full information on each scheme.

We will continually be updating this blog with available opportunities, if you know of any funding opportunities we've missed, send us an email or let us know via social media via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

Please Note: Some of these opportunities may now have closed, we will be updating our full list shortly.

Visual Arts Scotland Emergency Art Workers Support Fund

We're delighted to announce Creating Edinburgh are supporting Visual Arts Scotland Emergency Art Workers Support Fund, a temporary relief fund that aims to support Creative Practitioners who have been impacted by COVID-19. From our digital events, we will be donating a proportion of proceeds towards this cause which aims to ensure fixed micro-grants of £250 will go to individuals who have no other current financial support or savings, who are facing an immediate loss of income from their creative freelance work, to help cover losses incurred by cancelled or postponed work in recent weeks.

Government Support

Self-employment Income Support Scheme - A new scheme introduced by the UK Government to pay freelancers who have lost earnings a grant worth 80% of average income, up to £2,500.

Universal Credit - Universal Credit is a payment to help with your living costs. It’s paid monthly - or twice a month for some people in Scotland. You may be able to get it if you’re on a low income or out of work.

Supporting Communities Fund - Scottish Government has made a £40m fund available to community organisations including those that are not registered charities to support small scale community resilience.

Coronavirus Future Fund - This scheme will issue convertible loans between £125,000 to £5 million to innovative companies which are facing financing difficulties due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Newly Self-Employed Hardship Fund - Managed by Local Authorities in Scotland, the fund will be allocated to the newly self-employed who are ineligible for UK support (as they became self-employed since April 2019) but are facing hardship with £2,000 grants.

Creative or Tourism and Hospitality Enterprises Hardship Fund
- This fund is designed for Scottish companies that are ineligible for other COVID-19 grant support or are not yet in receipt of the funds they need to survive.

Community and Third Sector Recovery Programme - Adapt and Thrive Programme - Grants and loans, as well as tailored specialist advice, are available to third sector organisations in Scotland for implementing organisational change needed to adapt to the challenges presented by the coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic.

Creative Scotland Funding

Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development - Creative Scotland have launched an updated version of the Open Project Fund; Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development to provide support for individuals and organisations to sustain their creative development in the coming months.

Bridging Bursary (Arts and Creative) - The Bridging Bursary (Arts and Creative) fund is prioritising support to freelance practitioners whose primary source of income comes from their creative work in the not-for-profit sector and to those most in need.

Film / TV

Screen Scotland: Bridging Bursary Programme - Support for freelance or self-employed screen practitioners working in Scotland’s screen sector (exhibition, distribution, development, production or postproduction for film or television, scripted or unscripted, live-action or animation, talent and skills development, film education) who are experiencing immediate financial difficulty due to the loss of screen sector income in Scotland as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Film & TV COVID-19 Emergency Relief Fund - Created in partnership with the BFI. The Film + TV Charity are able to provide one-off grants from £500 to £2,500 to active workers in film, TV and cinema facing significant financial hardship as a result of the Covid-19 crisis.

RSA Morton Award - The Morton Award (£5,000) is for artists working in a lens-based media in Scotland. The award is funded by The Morton Charitable Trust and administered by the Royal Scottish Academy.

Screen Scotland: Single Project Development Funding Route
- The purpose of this fund is to encourage producers and creative writers to access funding enabling them to focus on film development projects, support their financial resilience over the next 3-6 months and lay the groundwork for future sustainable growth of Scotland’s film production sector.

Screen Scotland: Broadcast: Single Project Development Funding Route - The purpose of this fund is to encourage producers and creative writers to access funding enabling them to focus on broadcast and TV development projects, support their financial resilience over the next 3-6 months and lay the groundwork for future sustainable growth of Scotland’s film production sector.

Sharp Shorts - Sharp Shorts is a new opportunity for Scotland’s most exciting emerging creatives to shake up the form and distinctively stamp the nation on the filmmaking map.

Art & Culture

The Richard and Siobhán Coward Foundation Analogue Photography Grants - Sums of between £250 and £1000 are available to individuals or groups for analogue photography projects

Golsoncott Foundation - Grants are available to voluntary sector organisations in the UK for projects that promote fine arts and music.

Disability Arts Online - Disability Arts Online has launched a new commissions pot which disabled artists can apply to, including paid opportunities across Artist Presentations, Day in the Life articles and Open Commissions.

The Gottlieb Foundation Individual Support Grant - For painters, sculptors and printmakers who have been creating mature art for at least 20 years and who are in current financial need.

Wellbeing Fund - Scotland’s Third Sector Interfaces (TSIs) are managing a £48m Wellbeing Fund from Scottish Government to enable national and local action by third sector organisations to reach the most vulnerable groups.

City of Edinburgh Council Flexible Fund: Diversity and Inclusion - A new £100,000 fund to support Edinburgh-based Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) artists, practitioners and producers in the Capital’s arts and culture sector.

Nesta - Arts & Culture Impact Fund - Nesta’s Arts & Culture Finance team has launched a new £20 million impact investment fund for the UK’s arts, culture and heritage social enterprises.

Royal Scottish Academy: Pandemic: A personal response to COVID-19
- Eight artists will each receive a monetary award of £2,500 to research, develop and produce new work which reflects their personal response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

RSA William Littlejohn Award - The RSA William Littlejohn Award (£2000) for Excellence and Innovation in Water-based media (any pigment mixed with water).

2021 Cordis Prize for Tapestry - The Cordis Prize is set to return for its fifth round in 2021. The £8000 prize aims to encourage and reward ambition and scale in the field of contemporary weaving.

Wool Innovation Prize 2020
- Applications are open for this year's Wool Innovation Prize, with £10,000 available to the individual who shows the most innovative use of wool in any commercially viable application.

Scottish Portrait Awards - Due to the COVID-19 crisis, the deadline for entries for the Scottish Portrait Awards has been extended to 31 July 2020.

Craft Scotland
- Craft Scotland shared a Toolkit featuring financial support available for the craft sector during Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Community Response, Recovery & Resilience Fund - The Response, Recovery and Resilience Fund to-date has distributed over £1.3 million in grants to organisations working to address immediate needs in their communities.

The Galton and Simpson Bursary for Comedy Writing - Aimed at helping new comedy writers build their career, the bursary will award £5500 to writers or writing partnerships to develop a script for broadcast consideration along with guidance from established industry professionals and the BBC comedy commissioning team.

Ragdoll Foundation Open Grants Scheme
- The Ragdoll Foundation’s Open Grants Scheme supports the cultural sector’s work with children and young people through three funding schemes.

Future Fashion Factory Innovation Funding Call 3 - Companies of all sizes and specialisms working in the sector will have a new opportunity to apply for collaborative research and development (R&D) projects, working with industry partners and academics to develop new solutions to key business challenges.

Queen Elizabeth Scholarship Trust (QEST) - A QEST Scholarship supports makers to further enhance their craft skills through traditional college courses, specialist short courses; or one-on-one training with a Master. Amounts awarded are up to £18,000.

Weston Culture Fund - Grants are available for mid- to large-scale cultural organisations in the UK to help them restart important work, refresh activities, and develop plans to rebuild audiences following closures due to the coronavirus/COVID-19 crisis.


Edinburgh Jazz & Blues Festival Youth Arts Small Grant Scheme - This fund is open to freelance artists and creative practitioners living and working in Scotland looking to work directly with children and young people.

PRS Emergency Relief Fund - PRS members globally can apply for grants of up to £1000 each, depending on need, to support creators and the music industry.

PRS Foundation Open Fund for Organisations - Grants are available for any not-for-profit organisation based in the UK to support new music projects led by promoters, large performance groups, talent development organisations, venues, festivals and curators in the UK.

Help Musicians Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund - The Help Musicians Coronavirus Financial Hardship Fund was established to alleviate some of the immediate financial pressures that many professional musicians may be facing.

RPS Composers Programme - The Royal Philarmonic Society Composers Programme aims transform the prospects of promising composers, helping them take their first critical steps in establishing a career. The grant covers a range of commissions and the chance for your work to be performed with a noted ensemble, venue or festival.

Music For All - Individual Grant - Not everyone is fortunate enough to have access to musical instruments and lessons. The Grant Application process allows Music For All to help people fulfil their musical dreams. Young, old, regardless of personal or life challenges.

Music For All - Community Project Funding - Projects and initiatives take place throughout the UK that all aim to bring music to their community. This fund is a “helping hand” to fulfil potential in becoming truly sustainable music programmes.

The Grassroots Music Venue Crisis Service - Sector support to Grassroots Music Venues facing urgent and immediate challenges due to COVID-19.

Cryptic Nights - An annual open call for emerging, Scottish-based artists to develop existing music, sound and digital works within a visual context, with support and mentoring from Cryptic.

Opera North - Resonance: The Lockdown Edition - Designed to support UK-based BAME music-makers exploring new ideas and collaborating with other artists under our current, uniquely challenging circumstances, a new ‘Lockdown Edition’ of Opera North's Resonance programme is open for applications now.

AIM COVID-19 Support Fund - This support fund is aimed at contractors and freelance workers in the independent music industry whose source of income has been severed without warning due to lost work in April and May as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Music Theatre Award - British Youth Music Theatre (BYMT) - An award for emerging writers and composers in the UK and Ireland. The aim of the award is to showcase young writers and composers by giving them a platform to create and develop through the collaboration opportunities offered by BYMT.

Peter Whittingham Jazz Award
- Annual grants programme for early career jazz musicians who are looking to undertake ambitious projects to develop their career.

Charities / Grassroots

Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust - The Gordon Fraser Charitable Trust offers grants to registered charities active in Great Britain.

National Emergencies Trust - A Coronavirus Appeal to raise funds for local charities and grassroots organisations that can provide vital support to people in the quickest way possible.

Third Sector Resilience Fund - A £20m emergency fund for charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations working in Scotland.

CAF Coronavirus Emergency Fund
- A Fund to help smaller charitable organisations in the UK affected by the impact of Covid-19. Grants of up to £10,000 are available.

The Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund - The Resilience & Recovery Loan Fund (RRLF) is a new fund for social enterprises and charities who are experiencing disruption to their normal business model as a result of COVID-19.

John Ellerman Foundation - An independent grantmaking foundation supporting charities that make a difference to people, society and the natural world.

Additional Grants / Funding

Bòrd na Gàidhlig Colmcille Funding Scheme - Grants are available for constituted organisations in Scotland and Ireland for community projects that promote cultural exchanges between Scotland and Ireland, and in particular the Gàidhlig and Gaeilge languages.

Museums Galleries Scotland COVID-19 Museum Development Fund - Local authority museums, museums managed by ALEOs and university museums can apply for up to £60,000 to deliver projects that will help them build resilience and address some of the challenges brought about by the coronavirus pandemic.

CI Small Research Grants - Creative Informatics has launched an open competition for small research grants aimed at early career researchers, based at University of Edinburgh or Edinburgh Napier University, proposing projects or activities that explore innovative uses or applications of data in the creative and cultural sector.

Connected Innovators - Part of the Creative Informatics programme, our new funding stream Connected Innovators gives you the opportunity to apply for funding for research and development or professional development, with up to £10,000 available.

The Princes's Trust and Natwest Enterprise Relief Fund
- The £5million Enterprise Relief Fund will offer grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it and who may be worried about their future.

European Culture of Solidarity Fund - The Fund supports imaginative cultural initiatives that, in the midst of the global pandemic crisis, reinforce European solidarity and the idea of Europe as a shared public space.

Edinburgh University Community Grants - The purpose of the scheme is to 1) Bring value to new or existing partnerships between the University and local communities. 2) Have a positive social impact. 3) Create learning opportunities (including informal and nontraditional forms of learning).

Pivotal Enterprise Resilience Fund - This grant is for businesses that can play a critical role in supporting Scotland’s recovery but need some immediate support. It might be to get back up and running or to maintain or diversify your current operations.

Open Call: UK Research & Innovation - Proposals are invited for short-term projects addressing and mitigating the health, social, economic, cultural and environmental impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Creative Informatics Challenge Projects - Challenge Projects offer an opportunity for creative and cultural organisations to bring forward challenges relating to their work that require innovative, data-driven solutions.

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