The Scottish Government has today, 15 December, revealed details of a new £13 million round of funding to provide support for the events sector in Scotland. It will include a £6 million fund, that will open this week, to support event businesses that are seen as critical to Scotland’s events sector, and without which the capacity to deliver major events would be significantly reduced.

It said the Pivotal Event Businesses Fund, administered by VisitScotland, will provide grants from between £25,000 and £150,000 to up to 100 event businesses whose primary role as organisers, suppliers, contractors and venues is critical to the survival of the events sector in Scotland, and upon whom the wider events industry and supply chain are most reliant for their own business and operations.

Organisations applying to the fund must meet the eligibility criteria including having an annual turnover of more than £500,000 prior to the Covid-19 pandemic; be directly involved in the delivery and organisation of at least five major events, festival or business events each year; employ a minimum number of staff, and events must be the primary source of the organisation’s income.

VisitScotland said the fund is intended to “support those pivotal businesses who operate at a size and scale in their sector and/or location where the loss or insolvency of that business would have a significant and detrimental impact on Scotland’s ability to continue to host and stage major events”.

Additionally, the fund will be targeted to support businesses which are experiencing critical financial problems that threaten insolvency or significant job losses due to the impact of Covid-19.

The remaining funding will be used to set up a separate fund to provide broader support to businesses across the full range of the events sector, including the supply chain, and will be announced early in 2021.

The latest funding follows the £10m announced by the culture secretary Fiona Hyslop in July for the events industry, of which £6m was allocated to the now closed Event Industry Support Fund, while £2m was allocated to Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund currently being run by EventScotland.

Hyslop said, “The events sector has faced severe challenges throughout 2020 as the restrictions necessary to contain the coronavirus pandemic have left most businesses unable to operate. While the arrival of a vaccine offers grounds for hope, the events sector and its wider supply chain will continue to experience difficulties for some time to come.

“We were able to provide financial support for the events sector in the autumn but we have continued to listen and we acknowledge that further funding is required. This additional £13 million will allow us to help hard-pressed businesses going forward and ensure that they are ready to support the recovery when it is safe to operate again.”

Organisations wishing to be considered for the Pivotal Event Businesses Fund must  complete an Expression of Interest form to demonstrate they meet the eligibility criteria. This form will go live at 12pm on Wednesday 16 December and will be open for one week until 5pm on Tuesday 22 December with full details of the process and requirements available at:

From the expressions of interest, approximately 50 – 100 organisations which meet or exceed the eligibility criteria, and which are assessed to represent a sectoral and geographical spread of the most significant event organisers, suppliers and venues operating in Scotland, will then be asked to submit a full application.

Organisations that have received of other Covid-19 funding are not excluded from submitting an Expression of Interest as long as they meet the eligibility criteria.

For the purpose of this fund, events are defined as one off or annual occurrences including live sporting and cultural events and festivals that are open to the public to attend, and major business events, incentives and conferences.

The following businesses are eligible to apply:

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


Event Transport


Exhibition Services

PCO – Professional Conference Organisers

DMC – Destination Management Companies