Relief funding to support performing arts venues reaches Shetland Arts

Shetland Arts  has received a £247,582 Scottish government boost, which is designed to support venues unable to re-open because of coronavirus.

The money has come from the Scottish government’s Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund, which is helping to remove the threat of insolvency so furloughed staff can return to work or avoid redundancy.

The money is also intended to boost commissioning and employment opportunities for freelance artists between now and the end of March next year, as well as support continued public engagement while closed.

Shetland Arts is one of 20 venues across Scotland to receive funding from the £12.5 million pot.

Chief executive of Shetland Arts Graeme Howell said: “We are extremely grateful to receive this funding.

“The impact of the pandemic upon our activity has been significant and this investment will enable us to continue to support the performing arts sector and helps to secure the future of Shetland Arts.”

Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop added: “Theatres and performing arts venues are vital to individuals, communities and our country.

“Our performing arts venues effectively had to close overnight, with an almost complete loss of income. There is no doubt that in doing so they saved lives, and for that I am extremely grateful.

“We know the impact of this crisis will be long-term so ambitious action to support the future of these organisations, as well as our wider cultural infrastructure, is key. This funding will be a vital lifeline to help performing arts venues continue to weather the storm.”

Chief executive of Creative Scotland Iain Munro said: “There are significant challenges facing Scotland’s culture sector, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

“This funding for performing arts venues is much needed and will help organisations tackle these challenges but we are aware that budgets are finite and it is not possible to provide financial assistance to every organisation through this route at this time.

“The Covid-19 emergency funds announced for the culture sector so far are not, by any means, the end of the support to be offered and there will be more announcements to come, not least in terms of how the £97m Scotland has received for culture and heritage as a result of the UK government’s funding package is to be applied. 

“The precise nature of this is still being determined and, beyond what has already been made available, Creative Scotland is working closely with the Scottish government to actively discuss further support for the culture sector, including for those who may not have received funding previously.”


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