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Article published 26/01/2022

Initial funding announced to mitigate the impact of Omicron

Events businesses directly affected by the COVID-19 restrictions put in place in December and who have previously received funding from either of the Event Industry Support Funds or the Pivotal Event Businesses Fund are to receive top-up payments from the £19.8 million of funding confirmed by Cultural Secretary Angus Robertson on 3 January.

Up to £11 million of the £19.8 million will initially be used to provide top-up payments to eligible businesses and will be administered by VisitScotland and its EventScotland team on behalf of the Scottish Government, with businesses being contacted from Monday 31 January. There will be no application process for these businesses to complete, however, the businesses will be asked to confirm:

  • They are still trading;
  • Their bank details remain the same;
  • Confirm which event(s) / date they were due to organise and/or supply to has been cancelled or restricted during the period 08/12/21 and 31/01/22; and
  • That the cancellation or restriction of such event(s) has resulted in a loss of projected income during the period stated above.

Awards will be based on pre-COVID annual turnover, broken down as follows:

  • £10,000 - £24,999 = £2,000
  • £25,000 - £49,999 = £3,500
  • £50,000 - £99,999 = £5,000
  • £100,000 - £499,999 = £10,000
  • £500,000 - £999,999 = £25,000
  • £1,000,000 + = £50,000

Our EventScotland team is currently working with the Scottish Government and the Event Industry Advisory Group to determine the best way of distributing the remaining funding to support to those event businesses continuing to experience cancellation or postponements in February and March, or who may have previously not had access to COVID-19 event funding support. 

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is once again causing disruption and uncertainty in the culture and events sector, who have already been hit so hard by its impact.

We have been engaging with the sector about the impact of the Omicron variant and we are fully committed to supporting culture and events while they recover from the impact of the COVID – and we are aware of just how important they are to Scotland, and indeed the wider recovery from this pandemic.

These additional funds will help protect the livelihoods of the people working in the sector – and allow us to give further support to freelancers, culture organisations, venues and our national performing companies.

Angus Robertson, Culture Secretary

The Scottish Government’s commitment of £19.8 million for Scotland’s events sector is welcome news as the industry continues to deal with the latest challenges presented by the pandemic and the Omicron variant.

Events play an important part in our communities and this latest funding will ensure the necessary financial support is provided to a broad range of event businesses across the sector.

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland's Director of Events

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