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Covid-hit Welsh freelancers are each to get an extra £2,500 from an extension of the government’s support scheme.

An additional £8.9m has been ploughed into the Cultural Recovery Fund, launched in September to help struggling freelancers in the creative industries cope with ‘reduced activity’.

Initially, £7m of the wider fund’s £53m pot was split between 2,800 freelancers, with a further 1,400 helped out by a £3.5m top-up in November. With the new round of funding, each freelancer will have received £5,000 in total to date.

Overall, the fund has allocated £63m to the nation’s creative sector, including institutions such as art galleries, cinemas, music venues, archive services and museums.

The fund initially offered £53m, topped up by a further £10m in November.

Welsh deputy minister Dafydd Elis-Thomas hailed the “resilience and creativity” of almost 3,500 freelancers who have benefited from the scheme to date. He said their “professionalism, experience, enthusiasm and vision” will be an essential part of the nation’s economic recovery.

The government has sent a self-declaration letter to each of these freelancers, which will need to sign to receive the additional money.

The fund is now closed to new applicants, which are instead directed to the self-employment income support scheme, or, for businesses the local discretionary grant, which are detailed on the Business Wales website.

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