The Scottish Government has announced a £21m funding boost to the events sector as the Omicron variant spreading across the country continues to cause cancellations.
It follows Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement that fresh restrictions on hospitality businesses will come into force on Boxing Day.
From that date, there will be a maximum outdoor attendance of 500 people, with a limit of 100 people for a standing indoor event and 200 for seated indoor events.
The £21m is part of the £100m pledge made by the Scottish Government to compensate businesses affected by the Coronavirus restrictions.
Creative Scotland will allocate £10.2m for cultural organisations and venues, while £8m will be made available for freelancers in the creative industry as part of a cancellation fund.
Event Scotland will administer £2.8m towards the wider events supply chain.
Culture secretary Angus Robertson said: “Culture and events continue to be among the sectors hardest hit by Covid-19 as the emergence of a new variant is once again causing disruption and uncertainty.
“The steps we’re asking the public to take to minimise the spread of the virus are having a severe financial impact on the sector at a time when they were just beginning to recover from previous waves of the coronavirus.
“In the past few weeks, both myself and culture minister Jenny Gilruth have been speaking to freelancers and representatives from culture and events organisations to ensure they get immediate support to meet their needs.
“This £21m in additional funding is vital to support culture and events organisations and protect the livelihoods of the people who work in the sector.”
Iain Munro, chief executive of Creative Scotland, said: The Covid-19 rollercoaster seems never-ending but we will work hard with the sector to pull together again and overcome the challenges that this new wave of the pandemic presents to ensure we are able to gather in cultural spaces to enjoy Scotland’s rich, diverse and world-renowned art and creativity, and to celebrate all that they bring to our lives, in so many different ways.”
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