New £15m recovery fund for entertainment venues and clubs

Music venues, theatres, comedy clubs and nightclubs offered funding lifeline to manage impact of Covid.

New £15m recovery fund for entertainment venues and clubs Pixabay
Venues: Slated reopening for some from September 14.

A new £15m recovery fund to help arts venues and nightclubs survive the Covid-19 pandemic has been set up.

It’s part of a £59m package of support for the culture and heritage sectors in Scotland announced by the First Minister.

The recovery fund is designed to “safeguard key parts of our cultural infrastructure”, Nicola Sturgeon said, as she acknowledged the sector has been “very hard-hit” by coronavirus.

It aims to reduce the threat of insolvency for firms in the industry and protect jobs.

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Theatres, galleries, comedy clubs, music venues, nightclubs, orchestras and studios are among the groups eligible for the new fund, with information on how to apply to be published next week.

The package will be funded from the £97m allocated to the Scottish Government through the Barnett formula by UK Government spending.

The First Minister said: “The culture and heritage sectors are, of course, hugely important to our economy, but they’re also really important to our wellbeing and happiness as a country.

“They’ve been very hard-hit by this pandemic and we’re determined to do everything we reasonably can to support them.”

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More than £20m of funding will also be made available for Historic Environment Scotland, as well as millions in support for freelancers, the development of new creative work, independent cinemas and youth arts.

Theatres and entertainment venues have been given an indicative reopening date of September 14, with the sites allowed to open this week for rehearsals and preparations.

But with social distancing in place, they will likely have to operate at around a third of their capacity.

Meanwhile, nightclub operators still don’t know when they might be able to open their doors again.