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Arts & Business Scotland to support the culture and business sectors with newly announced funding

By David Porter

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Arts & Business Scotland has announced the launch of a new funding strand that brings together the creativity of the culture sector which comprises arts, heritage and creative organisations with the business acumen of those in business and the public sector, to support all sectors in their recovery and renewal in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Culture and Business Fund Scotland Covid-19 Renewal and Recovery Strand aims to broker long lasting relationships between organisations in the commercial, public and culture sectors, with partnerships that bring more than just financial support to the table.

A continuation of the existing Culture and Business Fund Scotland (CBFS), the Covid-19 Renewal and Recovery Strand is subject to fewer regulations in terms of eligibility, meaning that more businesses, public bodies and culture organisations can apply than ever before.

In normal times, the CBFS has only supported partnerships where the business or public sector body is investing in or sponsoring arts or heritage activity within Scotland for the first time, or if it has not done so in the previous two years.

It also provided potential match-funding of business investment in or sponsorship of an arts or heritage organisation within Scotland for up to a three-year period, albeit with the CBFS providing 50 per cent match funding against the business investment for Year Two and 25 per cent match funding for Year Three.

Art and Business Scotland chief executive David Watt
Art and Business Scotland chief executive David Watt

The Covid-19 Strand offers, up to, three years of 100 per cent £ for £ match funding of between £1k - £40k and is open to all applicants, including those who have previously received CBFS funding, no matter how recently.

These changes to the criteria and guidelines came into effect on March 1, 2021 and will be applicable for applications received before March 31, 2024.

David Watt, chief executive of Arts & Business Scotland, said: “There can be a perception that funding initiatives pairing the commercial and culture sectors is a white knight situation, where the arts, heritage or creative organisation is rescued by a business through solely financial support. "With the Culture and Business Fund Scotland Covid Recovery and Renewal Strand this isn’t, doesn’t have to be and shouldn’t be the case.

"Particularly now, after over a year of extreme uncertainty and varying degrees of isolation, businesses are looking at to how best to support staff and ensure the wellness of their workforce, and culture organisations can hold the key and provide diverse solutions.

A&BS will be running a series of free online workshops to help potential applicants and beneficiaries understand how to make an application to the fund.

Those looking to receive information on these and other A&BS events, should contact: events@aandbscotland.org.uk or visit A&BS website to see all upcoming events and opportunities here.

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