Creative freelancers and the events sector in Scotland have suffered severe disruption and financial hardship as a result of coronavirus, and continue to deal with unprecedented circumstances that affect their livelihoods.
The Freelancers Hardship Fund has been topped up by the Scottish government by a further £17.5 million. Of that amount, £8.5 million has been allocated to the events sector, and £9.5 million to top up the fund for creative freelancers.
So what is the Freelancers Hardship Fund for Scotland-based individuals, and how can you access this money.
If you work in the arts and creative sector, or the events sector in Scotland, and have suffered financial hardship as a result of coronavirus-related cancellation of events, work and contracts, you may be eligible to apply for an award from the Freelancers Hardship Fund.
The fund is intended to support job retention, and help freelancers and those in the events sector to avoid a slide into unmanageable debt and insolvency. Applications for this funding can be made online.
The Pivotal Event Businesses Fund and the Events Industry Support Fund 2 are being delivered by EventScotland. The funds are intended to help businesses severely impacted by coronavirus and related restrictions.
As a creative freelancer you can apply online via the Creative Scotland website for between £500 and £2,000. If you’re successful, you should receive the award within six weeks. These awards from the fund are quick to access, and provide a financial lifeline to those creative freelancers most affected by the pandemic.
If your application is not accepted there are other potential options, but it’s important to seek reliable professional advice.
It’s worthwhile checking whether you’re eligible for state benefits or other financial support in Scotland if you haven’t already done so. Residents in Scotland are also able to access a range of official debt solutions that can help escape unmanageable debt, however.
The Debt Arrangement Scheme, or DAS, is one option available to people in debt, but you need to have a regular income to be eligible. This may be unlikely at this point unless you find employment, but there are two other potential debt solutions that could leave you debt-free.
They both require careful consideration after receiving professional advice and assessment of your financial situation, but if you’re in serious debt that you can no longer manage and have been refused an award from the Freelancers Hardship Fund, they may be an option.
A Scottish Trust Deed is a legally binding agreement to repay a proportion of your debts. If you’re struggling to find work as a freelance creative in Scotland, and debts are mounting up, it could allow you to be debt-free in around four years.
This is the Scottish term for bankruptcy, which involves handing over your assets to a Trustee, who sells them at auction and repays creditors from the proceeds. Sequestration is a last resort, however, and it’s vital to seek professional guidance on your best options.
Scotland Debt Solutions has been helping Scottish residents to escape debt since 1989, and can provide the support you need at this worrying time. We’ll establish whether you’re eligible for the Freelancers Hardship Fund, and help you make your application where necessary. Please contact our expert team to arrange a free, same-day consultation – we work from offices around Scotland.
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