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The next edition of Scotland’s multi-year funding programme will begin in April 2025, with a first round of applications opening in September this year.

a pipe band performs in front of a crowd in glasgow

Liz Leyden via iStock

Creative Scotland has provided an update to how it will implement its next multi-year funding programme for cultural and creative organisations.

The application process will consist of two stages, with stage one opening for applications in September ahead of decisions in February 2024. Stage two will open for applications soon after with decisions due in October 2024.

There will then be a three-month period beginning November 2024 for chosen organisations to agree contracts with Creative Scotland, before successful applicants see their funding in place from April 2025.


Information published on the funder’s website states stage one guidance will be published in July and stage two guidance in October this year.

Creative Scotland’s latest update on how it will progress its multi-year funding programme is the first since the Scottish Government reversed its plans to cut the arts council’s budget by 10%, which could have led to a reduction in how many organisations receive regular funding.

Its next multi-year funding programme has been hit by a series of delays, most recently last November when Creative Scotland pushed the start date back by 12 months, attributing the delay to post-Covid challenges and budget pressures.

The current cycle of regularly funded organisations began in 2018 and consists of 121 portfolio organisations, which split £33.8m per annum.

Originally given three-year funding commitments, these organisations will now have their current funding arrangements continued at a sustained level through to March 2025.

New criteria

Creative Scotland says the new multi-year funding programme will be carried out using “clear and consistent criteria” and with a consideration towards outcomes from a funding review carried out prior to the pandemic.

The funding review, available on Creative Scotland’s website, says the future funding approach will ensure a broader base of organisations receive regular funding.

It adds it will be providing a simpler and more transparent process to applying through a Funding Management System, conducted entirely online.

Creative Scotland is planning a series of engagement and information sessions throughout the duration of the application process, to enable interested organisations to decide if applying is suitable for them.

The first are due to take place in June, with booking available online.