CULTURE Secretary Angus Robertson has confirmed details of a £65 million financial package for cultural and major events.

The funding of £27m for culture and £17m for events was announced by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon last week – in addition to the £20m of business support for both that she announced earlier last month.

It will see cultural business, organisations, venues and independent cinema support and grassroots venues given £31.5m; £2m for national performing companies, for Christmas losses and touring fund re-purposing; freelancers will receive £10m; the events sector £19.8m; and museums, galleries and heritage £1.7m.

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It brings to £175m the support the Scottish Government has provided to the culture, heritage and events sector since the start of the pandemic.

“The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic is once again causing disruption and uncertainty in the culture and events sector, who have already been hit so hard by its impact,” said Robertson.

“We have been engaging with the sector about the impact of the omicron variant and we are fully committed to supporting culture and events while they recover from the impact of the Covid – and we are aware of just how important they are to Scotland, and indeed the wider recovery from this pandemic.

“These additional funds will help protect the livelihoods of the people working in the sector – and allow us to give further support to freelancers, culture organisations, venues and our national performing companies.”

Creative Scotland’s Cancellation Fund for Creative Freelancers opens for applications at 2pm on Thursday.

Its chief executive Iain Munro said: “We are very grateful for this significant increase in emergency funding from the Scottish Government which reflects the severity of the challenges being faced by Scotland’s culture sector.

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“Our Cancellation Fund for Creative Freelancers is live, with applications open from 6 January, and more information on support for organisations and venues will follow as soon as possible.”

Paul Bush, VisitScotland’s director of events, added: “The Scottish Government’s commitment of £19.8m for Scotland’s events sector is welcome news as the industry continues to deal with the latest challenges presented by the pandemic and the omicron variant.

“EventScotland is currently working with the Scottish Government and the Event Industry Advisory Group (EIAG) to determine the best way of distributing the funding to ensure we get support to those in need across the sector, and details on this will be shared shortly.”