£6M fund launched to support events industry

Fiona Hyslop MSP.
Fiona Hyslop MSP.

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A £6 million fund has been set up to help the events sector recover from the Covid-19 pandemic while restrictions on the sector are still in place, VisitScotland announced on Monday.

The Events Industry Support Fund will comprise a one-off grant of £10,000 to support businesses in the events industry, particularly those in the supply chain, that are facing hardship and will be awarded as applications are received.

The fund is being delivered on behalf of the Scottish Government by VisitScotland and its EventScotland team, with development input from the newly formed Event Industry Advisory Group (EIAG).

The funding was announced by Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Fair Work and Culture, on July 26, as part of a £10 million package of support to help the events industry, parts of which are not yet able to reopen, and those which can are operating with limited numbers and other changes in light of the pandemic.

The fund will support businesses which have not received Scottish Government sponsored Covid-related funding from other schemes and which meet the eligibility criteria.

Applications for the fund will open from midday on Monday (August 31) and can be made until midday on September 14, with full details on the application process and requirements available at: www.visitscotland.org/events/funding/coronavirus-support-fund

Ms Hyslop said: ‘We know the events sector has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic and whilst we have set out indicative dates for a staged return of the industry, difficulties will continue for a long time to come.

‘This funding is the result of close collaboration with the sector to work out exactly what challenges they face and tailor our support to help them as best we can. Scotland has a track record of successfully planning and delivering events at international, national and local level and we will continue to work with the sector as we emerge from lockdown to ensure we remain the perfect stage.’

Paul Bush OBE, VisitScotland’s director of events, said: ‘The events industry has been devastated by the coronavirus pandemic as one of the first industries to stop and it will be one of the last to restart. There is a desperate need for support and this £6 million Scottish Government fund will help a number of businesses in the short-term until we can start to run events again.

‘This fund is designed to give a much-needed cash flow support to those companies who have faced real hardship during lockdown. It is on a first come, first served approach, with only the first 600 applications being awarded funding, so I would urge those in the events supply chain to get their applications in as soon as possible.’

This fund is open to the self-employed (through limited company or as a sole trader), partnerships and incorporated businesses who can demonstrate that supply to, organisation of and/or delivery of/to events in Scotland represents their primary source of income and that they earned a minimum of £10,000 from the supply to events in Scotland in 2019/20.

Applicants must have a place of business in Scotland and be supplying to events physically taking place here with only one application per business being permitted.

The fund is not intended to support: year-round operations such as attractions and venues; the hospitality industry such as hotels, pubs, bars, cafes, restaurants and nightclubs; private, social or family events such as weddings, dinners, functions or parties; community sports groups, teams or clubs; professional sports teams; or artists, performers and athletes.

For further information on the fund and the guidance document, including criteria, visit www.visitscotland.com/events/funding/coronavirus-support-fund