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22 October 2020

Scottish Funds

Sources of funding in Scotland

For Covid-19 funds and support, see our Coronavirus resource pages.


The following funds may be sources of grants or loans for publishers, charitable organisations and others involved in the arts and creative sectors.


Creative Communities

Creative Communities is a new programme from Inspiring Scotland that aims to support and empower communities to develop cultural activities. The programme will distribute up to £600,000 to support communities to develop new initiatives involving culture and creative arts for the period October 2020 to June 2021. Applications close on 12 August 2020. See the Creative Communities website.


Creative Scotland

Creative Scotland is a source of investment in the arts and creative industries.  The main way to access investment is through one of the Funding Programmes. These include:

  • The Open Fund which accepts applications between £1,000 and £50,000 for projects.

You can also look for other opportunities on the Creative Scotland Opportunities page.


Scots Language Publication Grant

A new Scots Language Publication Grant of £30,000 was announced by the First Minister at the Scottish Book Trade Conference on 26 February 2019. See the Scottish Book Trust website.


Scottish Growth Scheme

The Scottish Growth Scheme is a £500 million package of financial support for Scottish businesses. It's backed by the Scottish Government and aims to help businesses grow. This funding will be provided through a series of initiatives which businesses can access for investment. Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in Scotland can apply for:

  • microfinance loans of up to £25,000
  • debt or loan finance of up to £100,000
  • equity finance of up to £2 million

This funding comes from the Scottish Government and the European Regional Development Fund.


Scottish Enterprise

Some of its most popular funds including By Design and Make it to Market are listed on the Scottish Enterprise website. The IP Audit Fund is also particularly relevant for publishers.


Highlands and Islands Enterprise

Funding of up to £15,000 is available to SMEs through the HIE Small Innovation Grant Scheme. Your business can apply year-round, it must be based in the Highlands and Islands, and should employ no more than 250 people. 


Culture and Business Fund Scotland

This is a match funding scheme for arts and culture organisations that have attracted business funds or sponsorship for work. See the Arts and Business website.


Digital Development Loan

Scottish limited companies, sole traders and partnerships who have been trading for more than 6 months are eligible to apply for a Digital Development Loan (created by the Scottish Government to provide loans to those looking to improve their digital capabilities).  Interest free, unsecured business loans from £5,000 to £100,000 are available with up to 5 years repayment. To check eligibility and to apply, see the Digital Development Loan website


Funding Scotland

Information on over 1200 funds (from small grants to funding for big capital projects) which support Scottish projects. Find funding for your charity, community group or social enterprise using its free online search engine.


Social Investment Scotland

SIS (Social Investment Scotland) is a social enterprise and charity offering loan funding and business support for other social enterprises, charities and community groups looking to make a positive impact on people's lives, society or the environment.


Other grants and funding sources 

The William Syson Foundation

The trustees will consider applications from charities and not-for-progit organisations for projects and activities that promote the advancement of the arts, heritage and culture, including (but not restricted to) promoting, developing and ensuring the practice and enjoyment of the arts, including literature. For details of elegibility and to apply, see the William Syson Foundation website.

Internship funding for Robertson Trust Scholars

The Robertson Trust (Scotland's largest private charitable trust) is looking for businesses to help extend its internship programmes for its bursary scholars. Undergraduate: Current 3rd year bursary scholars can take an 8-week paid summer internship before starting their 4th year. The Robertson Trust will fully fund this internship at £910 per month with no cost to the employer. There are full details in the information pack on The Robertson Trust website


Business support from universities


Interface is a matchmaking service connecting businesses quickly and easily to world class expertise, knowledge and research facilities available in all Scotland's universities and research institutes. Interface's free and impartial service stimulates innovation and encourages companies to consider academic support to help solve their business challenges. Open to all, regardless of sector or geographical location, Interface proves that collaborating with academic partners brings significant business benefits. If you have a technical problem or need to develop your business, Interface will help you access the knowledge and facilities available. Contact Louise Arnold of Interface for more information.

Interface administers a number of funding schemes to offset the cost of collaborating with Scotland's universities and research institutions enabling them to develop new products and processes through R&D projects.