COVID-19 New Events Sector Funding

French Duncan | 16 December 2020



Please be aware this blog has not been recently updated with the latest COVID support information.  For our most up-to-date guidance, please see our recent blogs available at  Our staff continue to be fully up-to-date with all the support mechanisms available to businesses and the self-employed, so if you have any queries, or wish to discuss support available to you or your business, please contact us using this form.


The Scottish Government has announced a new £13m funding package for the events sector, which is being overseen by Visit Scotland and Event Scotland. This funding is being broken-down into a few different funds as summarised below, but it's worth pointing out that the first (the Pivotal Events Business Fund) is open for Expressions of Interest for only 1 week only from Wednesday 16 December to 5pm on Tuesday 22nd December.

Pivotal Events Business Fund:

This fund will provide grants from £25,000 to £150,000, and is envisaged it will support c.50-100 event companies who are seen as organisers, suppliers, contractors and venues critical to the survival of the events sector in Scotland.  In essence, those businesses who the rest of the sector and supply chain are most reliant upon.

Eligibility criteria apply, including:

  • annual turnover £500k+ before COVID-19
  • directly involved in 5 or more major events, festival or conferences each year
  • employ a minimum number of staff, and
  • events must be the primary source of the organisation’s income.
  • Also, receipt of other COVID-19 support does not proclude applications to this fund.

How to apply?

  • The first stage is to complete an Expression of Interest form to demonstrate eligibility.  Please note, this went live today (Wed 16th December) and will only be open for 1 week until 5pm on Tuesday 22nd December.
  • Approx. 50-100 of those that Express Interest will be asked to submit a full application.

The French Duncan ESD team would also be happy to speak to any businesses who require further advice or assistance in their applications. We have successfully helped numerous other events, cultural and other businesses apply for previous funding - you can read about our work with Òran Mór in our recent case study by clicking here.  Team details can be found here, or just drop us an email at or call 0141 221 2984.

Further information, and link on how to apply can also be found by clicking here.

The Guidance document also provides this summary of what it considers eligible and ineligible businesses:

  • Eligible Business Types:
    • Events Medical Services
    • Health & Safety Provision for Events
    • Audio Visual and Technology
    • Staging and Temporary Seating
    • Temporary Event Utilities
    • Production Services for events
    • Marquee Hire
    • Event and production Crew Event organiser / producer / promoter
    • Event Catering
    • Security
    • Event Transport
    • Ticketing
    • Exhibition Services
    • PCO - Professional Conference Organisers
    • DMC - Destination Management Companies
    • Venue
  • The fund is not intended to support:
    • Local Authorities and/or Leisure Trusts; Theatres; Galleries; Museums; Nightclubs; Hospitality industry such as hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes; Funfair Operators; Shopping centres; Casinos; Bingo halls; Community sports groups, teams or clubs; Community groups; BID groups; Professional sports Teams/Clubs; Governing bodies; Market Operators; Activity Providers; Wedding Planners. Please note this list is not exhaustive, and we reserve the right to add further ineligible business types during the assessment process for the purposes of clarity.


'Broader Support' Fund:

Currently all we know about this is that it will aim to provide 'broader support' to businesses across the full range of the events sector, including the supply chain.  Further details are to be announced in early 2021, and we'll try to update this page once we know more.  You can also read about both funds by visiting the Visit Scotland website here.





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