Scottish government announces £2.2 million of support for small venues

The Scottish government has announced a £2.2 million cash injection to help the country’s small venues through the coronavirus pandemic.

It follows the UK government announcing an unprecedented £1.57 billion in grants to support the arts sector.

The country’s Economy Secretary Fiona Hyslop announced the news during the First Minister’s daily briefing yesterday (July 11), revealing that the Music Venue Trust had worked with the government to secure the funding, and that it will be used to “quickly provide” stability to small venues as they remain closed over the coming months,” as the Sunday Post reports.

It comes along with a wider £38 million grant to the “most promising” early-stage businesses in the country.

Hyslop said: “We need to find ways to support our most innovative sectors because their access to finance has been severely restricted. We need to promote growth in areas like life sciences, digital technologies and space.”

Gig crowd, Kurupt FM
The crowd at a Kurupt FM gig in 2018 CREDIT: Ollie Millington/Redferns

The UK government’s recent £1.5 billion injection into the arts came after over 500 UK music venues signed an open letter calling for funding in order for them to be able to “hibernate” until October, until it is safe for them to reopen.

Earlier this month, the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign launched, with more than 1,500 artists and industry figures coming together to call on the government to stop “catastrophic damage” to live music.

Music industry figures warned this week that artists, musicians and crew remain in crisis, and may not be supported by the new government cash.

“As many as 38% of artists have fallen through the gaps between income support schemes and have received nothing for almost four months. Those that have had support will soon see that lifeline come to an end,” said David Martin, General Manager of the Featured Artists Coalition – a nonprofit organisation who campaign and lobby for artists and musicians.


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