Introduction: planning for the future
The Scottish Government recognises the severe impact that the COVID-19 restrictions are having on the performing arts sector. We are aware of, and grateful for, the work that the sector has undertaken to respond to the crisis and in preparation for reopening. We understand the frustration and concern in the sector and look forward, as does the whole of Scotland, to returning to our beloved theatres, concert halls, music venues and comedy clubs across the country.
Physical distancing has been an important tool for controlling the virus but, as with all restrictions, we do not want to keep it in place longer than is absolutely necessary. As the First Minister announced on 11 May, we are currently reviewing physical distancing, taking account of available and emerging evidence, including the ongoing rollout of the vaccination programme. An announcement of the outcome of this review is due ahead of the planned move to Level 1 on 7 June. Performing arts venues will be considered as part of this review. This guidance will be further updated at that time to reflect the outcome of the review, including the proposals for a clear route to the reduction / removal of physical distancing to enable organisations to plan effectively for a full reopening.
In order to support performing arts organisations as they continue to deal with the impact of restrictions, we will provide a second round of the Culture Organisations and Venues Recovery Fund and the Performing Arts Venues Relief Fund. This will be a top-up for those organisations which received support previously and will be open to eligible organisations which did not receive funding in the first round. Creative Scotland will announce the process for this as soon as possible. This will be funded from the expected £40 million consequentials for culture provision and, although we have yet to have transfer confirmed by the UK Government, the urgency of the reassurance needed to cultural organisations means we will proceed as soon as possible to distribute resources to fund a second round of these two funds.