Thanks go to Nicola Sturgeon and Fiona Hyslop for £59m rescue package for arts in Scotland – Angus Robertson

Angus Robertson hopes that Edinburgh’s Stand Comedy Club and other key venues will now make it through the winter

By Angus Robertson
Tuesday, 1st September 2020, 12:30 pm
Nicola Sturgeon's Government has announced extra funding for the arts sector to help them through the Covid lockdown (Picture: Fraser Bremner/WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Nicola Sturgeon's Government has announced extra funding for the arts sector to help them through the Covid lockdown (Picture: Fraser Bremner/WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Heartfelt thanks to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop, who have announced a major financial rescue package to support the arts community in Scotland.

With many culture venues facing bankruptcy, the Scottish Government has stepped in and announced a significant £59 million intervention.

The national heritage agency Historic Scotland will receive more than £21m, while £15m is being allocated to help businesses running arts organisations and venues.

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Independent cinemas are in line for £3.5m in support, while a £5m hardship fund will be made available for freelance workers in the creative industries. An additional £5m is being allocated for artists to secure new work during the recovery from coronavirus and £3m for youth arts initiatives.

The financial intervention comes within days of concerns being raised about the viability of venues, including the popular Stand Comedy Club in central Edinburgh, which had attracted the support of high-profile performers including Frankie Boyle, Janey Godley, Matt Forde, Kevin Bridges and Fern Brady.

Last week I wrote about the very real threat to the Stand Comedy Club in this column, with redundancy notices being in the offing.

Hopefully the Scottish Government announcement will help this venue and others to get through the quiet winter season and into the new year, when, fingers crossed, things can begin to properly recover.

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