As well as government based support many National Organisations and lenders have created industry specific grants and aid, development opportunities and low-risk lending incentives. These can be used in tandem with government grants and should not affect your personal or business credit rating.

Other Financial Help

A £25 million programme which aims to support charities, community groups, social enterprises and voluntary organisations that are supporting people and communities through the shift from lockdown to recovery.

The Adapt & Thrive Programme is now open for applications until March 31st 2021. The Communities Recovery Fund is now closed.

SCVO will be running regular information webinars which they strongly recommend you attend before you start your online application.

Online application forms and fund guidance is available via the SCVO website.

Adapt & Thrive Programme

  • Adapt and Thrive aims to support organisational change.
  • Working with an advisor, organisations will be supported to develop a plan so they can operate sustainably post-COVID.
  • This may mean developing new income streams, restructuring the organisation, or changing how services are delivered.

Funding to implement the plan is also available:

  • Grants between £5,000-£25,000
  • Flexible, 0% interest loans from £25,000 to £250,000. All loans recommendations will be based on an assessment of the organisation’s ability to service debt.
  • In some cases, a blended approach of both grant and loan may be recommended. When this is the case, the minimum loan ‘portion’ that can be offered is £25,000.

Detailed eligibility criteria for the Adapt & Thrive Programme can be accessed via the SCVO website.

£5 million fund to support creative freelancers working in Scotland who are experiencing immediate financial hardship due to the loss of income as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The funds offer a one-off monetary contribution to those who are most deeply impacted and disadvantaged by the cancellation of work as a result of the emergency situation.

Bursaries can be requested for any sum from £500 – £2000. If you have specific access needs, then you may request more than this.

Who can apply?

  • Freelance professionals whose work has direct creative outcomes. This can include (but is not limited to) a visual artist, a writer or maker of poetry, prose or fiction, a playwright, actor or theatre- maker, a comedian, dancer, musician, craft maker or designer. You will derive a significant proportion of your income from your role in creating or producing original artistic, creative or design material.
  • Freelance professionals whose work directly supports the making and presentation of creative work including events. This can include (but is not limited to) a theatre producer, a lighting designer, a gig promoter, an independent curator or creative producer. You will derive a significant proportion of your income from your role in supporting or producing original artistic, creative or design material and events.

Apply via Creative Scotland’s online application portal.

The funds do not have a published deadline but will only remain open for as long as the funds are available with each of the partners. Creative Scotland therefore encourage applicants to apply as early as possible.

The funds are offered on a non-competitive basis and require you to submit minimal information to enable awards to be made as quickly as possible. Creative Scotland will aim to ensure that all eligible recipients will receive money in their account within 6 weeks of submission of your request. 

A £7.5m fund which aims to enable creative organisations  to explore ways of working that will help them to adapt and respond to the current changing circumstances.

Funding for Individuals

  • Freelance and self-employed artists and creative practitioners in Scotland can apply for projects supporting the development of their practice.
  • You may apply for funding to work with others if your practice is collaborative.
  • You must have a UK bank account.
  • Apply for funding between £1,000 and £100,000

Funding for Organisations

  • Organisations and groups based in Scotland whose work or project involves the arts, screen and creative industries.
  • All applicants must have a UK bank account.
  • Apply for a grant from £1,000 – £100,000.

There are no deadlines for this fund.

Application forms along with application guidance and can be accessed via the Creative Scotland website. This includes detail of decision making in the context of Covid-19.

Note: Individuals and Organisations applying for a grant from £15,001 to £100,000 you will be asked some additional questions and be asked to complete a separate form for assessing risk.

£250m fund which issues convertible loans to innovative UK companies with good potential, which typically rely on equity investment and are currently affected by Covid-19.

Due to the popularity of the Fund, more funding has being made available and the scheme has been extended until Sunday 31 January 2021.

The Future Fund will match up to 100% of the amount provided by investor(s), with loans ranging from £125,000 to £5 million, subject to at least equal match funding from private investors.

Loans will have a minimum of 8% per annum (non-compounding) interest charge applied. This interest will be higher if the company and the investor(s) agree between themselves. Unlike a typical bank loan, the interest is not payable on a monthly basis and instead will accrue until the loan converts. At this point, the interest will either be repaid or convert in equity.

The loan will mature after 36 months and cannot be repaid early by the company other than with the agreement of all of the investors.

The loans will convert into shares in the company in certain circumstances, including an exit or a new funding round.

Investors and the Future Fund both invest using a convertible loan agreement, which is predefined and cannot be negotiated. The investor(s) must meet some specific criteria, details of which can be found via the British Business Bank website.

Companies must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • The company must have raised at least £250,000 in equity from third-party investors in previous funding rounds in the last five years (from 1 April 2015 to 19 April 2020, inclusive)
  • If the company is a member of a corporate group, it must be the ultimate parent company
  • The company does not have any of its shares or other securities listed on a regulated market, a multilateral trading facility, a recognised investment exchange and/or any other similar market, stock exchange or listing venue
  • Company must be a UK incorporated limited company or be eligible to apply as a non-UK parent company (see specific eligibility criteria in the FAQs for non-UK parent companies via the British Business Bank website.)
  • The company must have been incorporated on or before 31 December 2019 (or if you are a non-UK jurisdiction company, this criterion applies only to at least one UK subsidiary operating company)
  • At least one of the following must be true for the company (if you are a non-UK jurisdiction company, this criterion applies to your group):
  • Half or more employees are UK based
  • Half or more revenues are from UK sales

If you are applying as a non-UK jurisdiction parent company, there are additional criteria to be met.

Visit the Future Fund portal via the British Business Bank website to apply.

The application process is investor-led. This means an investor, or lead investor of a group of investors, applies in connection with an eligible company.

  • The investor, or lead investor of a group of investors, certifies they meet the scheme eligibility criteria and provides key investment details.
  • The company confirms the accuracy of the investment application details provided, before submitting the full application.
  • In the case of approved applications, all parties will execute an agreement (in the template form provided) and satisfy certain conditions set out in the agreement before the funds are released.

Further details are available via the British Business Bank website.

The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) is available through participating lenders and can provide facilities of up to £5m for smaller businesses across the UK who are experiencing lost or deferred revenues, leading to disruptions to their cashflow.

Important update: The Government has extended the Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS), the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) and the Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) until 31 January 2021.

Please note that crucially, the scheme simply provides the lender with a government-backed guarantee and the borrower always remains 100% liable for the debt. However, at this difficult time it may potentially change a ‘no’ credit decision from a lender to become a ‘yes’. CBILS supports term loans, overdrafts, invoice finance and asset finance.

Smaller businesses from all sectors can apply. To be eligible an SME must be UK-based in its business activity, with annual turnover of no more than £45m. You should also have a borrowing proposal which would be considered viable by the lender were it not for the current pandemic.

Key Features

  • Up to £5m facility: The maximum loan value will be £5m on repayment terms of up to six years.
  • 80% guarantee: The scheme provides the lender with a government-backed, partial guarantee (80%) against the outstanding facility balance, subject to an overall cap per lender.
  • No guarantee fee for SMEs to access the scheme: No fee for smaller businesses. Lenders will pay a fee to access the scheme.
  • Interest and fees paid by Government for 12 months: The Government will make a Business Interruption Payment to cover the first 12 months of interest payments and any lender-levied fees.
  • Finance terms: Finance terms are up to six years for term loans and asset finance facilities. For overdrafts and invoice finance facilities, terms will be up to three years.

More details on the CBILS including security terms

How to apply for a CBILS-backed loan facility

The Scottish Government have set up a business support helpline (0300 303 0660) for all business support enquiries in Scotland and request that businesses needing guidance contact them in the first instance on this number.

Additional advice is available here: