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Before considering whether to seek funding support for your event, it’s best to carefully work out the overall event budget. Whilst there will always be an element of estimating costs and income, you should investigate fixed costs such as infrastructure, fees and contingency as early as possible to help you understand the minimum income you need to generate. By their nature, events more than most projects, will incur unforeseen costs so a flexible, realistic budget is essential for a successful event.

EventScotland have produced an event business planning tool which will help you ensure your event is financially viable and prompt you to consider the critical aspects of creating and delivering an event including a budget management template.

By carefully business planning your event, it will help you understand its scale and therefore which funding sources are appropriate for you to consider.

Which fund is right for you?

Below we have set out a quick guide to EventScotland funding programmes. However, event organisers should explore other sources of funding in addition or in place of EventScotland awards. Having multiple sources of funding and support gives confidence to other funders.

The following EventScotland funding programmes are tailored for different types and scales of events, however there are some consistent criteria that apply to most funds:

  • There will be a threshold for the amount of funding vs the total income for the event. Generally no EventScotland funding can exceed 25% of total event income (there are some exceptions)
  • Funding will not generally cover core costs such as staff. Instead these funds are designed to help organisers invest to increase audience figures or the quality of an event. Equipment hire and marketing costs are generally accepted as part of the criteria
  • Organisers must align with the outcomes of Scotland the Perfect Stage, Scotland’s national event strategy
  • Before making an application, organisers are strongly advised to call EventScotland to discuss the proposed application. This will ensure you are applying to the right fund and are given clear and helpful advice about how to apply
  • A clear and realistic event business plan should be developed before making an application. This business plan should demonstrate the additional impact or benefit an EventScotland funding award would bring to the event
  • Funded events should be able to demonstrate how they will attract an audience from outwith the local area and have a positive economic impact
  • Local Authority support and engagement

International Events Programme

  • For events that generate substantial economic benefit and high profile international media coverage.
  • Can apply at any time
  • Designed for larger scale budgets with awards being determined in discussion with organisers

National Programme

  • For events outwith Glasgow and Edinburgh that will generate economic benefits to a particular region of Scotland and Scotland as a whole. Events that will attract audiences from other parts of Scotland and beyond.
  • 3 rounds per year
  • Minimum award £4,000
  • Maximum award £25,000
  • Funding must not exceed 25% of overall event income
  • Maximum of three awards permitted

Beacon Events Programme

  • For recurring events that have previously had support from the National Programme.
  • Considered a major event by your local authority and has committed support from them and will attract at least 50% of its audience from outwith the local authority area.
  • 2 rounds per year
  • Maximum award of £25,000
  • Award must not be the main source of income and cannot exceed 25% of overall event income

Scotland’s Themed Years

For events that celebrate the year’s theme. Upcoming themed years are:

  • 2020 Coasts & Waters
  • 2022 Scotland’s Stories
  • 2 rounds during year preceding the themed year
  • Minimum award of £10,000
  • Maximum award of £50,000
  • Must have close alignment with the theme
  • New or existing events
  • Award must not be more than 50% of total event income

Scottish Clan Fund

  • Specifically for legally constituted Clans and Clan societies to grow clan events, attract visitors from outwith Scotland and develop community engagement and benefits. Applications are encouraged for winter events around St Andrew’s Day, Hogmanay and Burns Night.
  • 1 round per year
  • Minimum award of £1,000
  • Maximum award of £5,000
  • Award must not exceed 25% of overall event income

Scotland’s Winter Festivals

  • For events celebrating St Andrew’s Day, Hogmanay or Burns Night
  • 1 round per year
  • Total fund value in 2018 – £315,000
  • Events must be supported by a local authority partner
  • Can be for existing events or new events

Other funding sources

  • Consider if funding needed – in kind support? Team up with other groups/events?
  • Local groups – development trusts and community councils can often access local authority funds, community hydro schemes,
  • Sponsorship – local businesses or consider approaching a larger, national business if they have a presence in the area.
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