Four out of five of the 1,069 applicants to the first round of the Creative Scotland Bridging Bursary fund are receiving sums ranging for £500 to £2,500, amounting to a total of £1.55m. The bursaries have been awarded to provide financial support to freelance creative professionals who have lost earnings due to the cancelation of their work in the pandemic.
Such was the demand for Bursary funding that the scheme, which opened for requests on Monday30th March, remained open for just four days and closed at 6pm on April 2nd.
Decisions on the awards were made purely on eligibility, and it was not a competitive process. The winners are distributed across Scotland, and over half are working in music and the visual arts. Musicians were awarded the highest proportion of the funding, with 217 people sharing £417k, but 228 awards were also made to visual artists, who shared £405k.
A second round of the Bridging Bursary fund was announced when additional funding of £1m each from Scottish Government and the Freelands Foundation was made available. The fund for this round was open from 20th to 25th April and these requests are currently being processed.