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The Scottish government has paid out almost £3m to creative industry freelancers hit by cancelled work dur to the Covid-19 pandemic in the first wave of grants from a dedicated fund.

In the first two weeks snce its launch this month, the Covid-19 Cancellation Fund for Creative Freelancers has allocated between £500 and £2,000 to each of 1,728 arts, screen and creative sector workers, including 77 TV and film freelancers.

Applications for payouts to the Creative Scotland-administered fund relate to income lost between 27 November 2021 and 31 March 2,000 and a second round, offering £6m, is planned for later this year. 

“We are emerging from the latest variant of coronavirus, but there are many people who lost income during the latest round of public health safeguards,” Scottish culture secretary Angus Robertson said. “Christmas and January are normally the busiest time of the year and for some freelancers, the loss of a job makes the difference in them being able to keep their head above water or not.” 

The fund is in addition to the £700,000 paid to freelancers by Screen Scotland as part of the Scottish government’s £59m cultural emergency package to support culture and events organisations impacted by the pandemic.

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