The Scottish government unveiled today, 15 December, new information on support for £13 million funding for the events sector in Scotland. This new tranche will include a £6 million fund, which will open this week, to support business events that are seen as very important to the strength of the country's events sector, and without which the ability to host major events will be significantly reduced.
This 'Pivotal Event Businesses Fund', managed by VisitScotland, will provide grants of between £25,000 and £150,000 to up to 100 event companies whose primary role as organizers, suppliers, contractors and venues is seen as critical to the industry's survival in Scotland. In fact, the country's events industry and supply chain depend largely on these stakeholders for their own businesses and operations.
Organisations applying to the fund must meet the eligibility criteria including having an annual turnover of more than £500,000 prior to the Covid-19 pandemic; be directly involved in the delivery and organisation of at least five major events, festival or business events each year; employ a minimum number of staff, and events must be the primary source of the organisation’s income. VisitScotland said the fund is intended to “support those pivotal businesses who operate at a size and scale in their sector and/or location where the loss or insolvency of that business would have a significant and detrimental impact on Scotland’s ability to continue to host and stage major events”.
This fund will be targeted at companies that are experiencing serious financial problems or that face a threat of insolvency or significant job losses due to the impact of Covid-19. The remaining funding will be used to create a separate fund to provide broader support to companies across the range of the event sector, including the supply chain, and will be announced in early 2021.
This most recent funding follows the £10 million announced by culture secretary Fiona Hyslop in July for the event industry, of which £6 million was allocated to the Event Industry Support Fund (now closed) while £ 2 million was allocated Scotland Event Recovery Fund currently managed by EventScotland. Hyslop said: “The event industry faced serious challenges throughout 2020, as the restrictions required to contain the coronavirus pandemic have left most companies unable to operate. While the arrival of a vaccine offers hope, the event industry and its broader supply chain will continue to struggle for some time.
“We were able to provide financial support for the events sector in the autumn but we have continued to listen and we acknowledge that further funding is required. This additional £13 million will allow us to help hard-pressed businesses going forward and ensure that they are ready to support the recovery when it is safe to operate again,” she ended.
Organisations wishing to be considered for the Pivotal Event Businesses Fund must complete an expression of interest form to demonstrate they meet the eligibility criteria.
This form will go live at 12pm on Wednesday 16 December and will be open for one week until 5pm on Tuesday 22 December with full details of the process and requirements available at: https://www.visitscotland.org/events/funding/pivotal-event-businesses-fund