Council’s Covid fund for creative industries

Date: 09/07/2020
Author: Wigan Council
Company: Wigan Council

Freelance artists and creative professionals in Wigan Borough experiencing financial hardship due to Covid-19 can apply for new funding.

Wigan Council has announced a £30,000 Freelance Creative Practitioner Covid-19 Fund to enable artists in the borough to survive financially while they explore other ways of sustaining themselves.

Any Wigan Borough based freelance practitioner working in the arts and culture sector is eligible and can apply for grants between £500 and £1,500.

The application window will open on Friday 10 July and will close on Friday 31 July.

Coun Chris Ready, cabinet member for communities and culture at Wigan Council said: “Over the last couple of years, we have worked tirelessly with the cultural industry to evolve Wigan Borough’s cultural offer.

“Together, we created an inspiring manifesto to engage more people in the arts. Despite these uncertain times, we remain committed to building on these successes. Covid-19 has had a severe impact on our cultural sector but we understand the invaluable contribution this industry has on the wellbeing of our residents, which is why we decided to set up this fund.”

The money will be distributed as one lump sum and is hoped to support freelancers over the next six months.

Applicants must describe how Covid-19 has impacted them financially, such as having work cancelled due to the pandemic.

They must also explain how the funding would help them to contribute to the council’s cultural manifesto, The Fire Within, in the future.

The local authority funding pot comes the same week that central government announced £1.57bn for the national cultural industry.

Coun Ready continued: “We welcome the package from government, but we still do not know how much money our borough will receive, or how we can access the funds.

“It was important to us that we help our cultural freelancers who have found it difficult to access support during the crisis. Our pot is ready now and will be open for applications from tomorrow.

“We understand there will be a high demand for this money and we need to be clear that although we can only support a portion of the applications we receive, we remain committed to working with our cultural partners to ensure they are aware of all the support opportunities available to them.”

Applicants will be informed of the decision approximately two weeks after submitting their application.

All applications will be reviewed by the council’s cultural service team with recommendations made to Coun Ready and the director of customer and cultural services.

To apply, visit: www.thefirewithin.org.uk from Friday 10 July.