Festivals face longer wait for cash help

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Organisers of major events and festivals in Argyll and Bute are likely to have to wait until October to apply for financial support from the council, says a new report.

A third round of applications to the Strategic Events and Festivals Fund with a total of £90,000 available  was due to be launched on August 20.

But that launch date is set to be pushed back until October 22, with a closing date for applications of December 7.

Members of Argyll and Bute Council’s temporary business continuity committee (BCC) will be asked to approve the date change when they meet via video link on Thursday August 13.

In a report prepared for the meeting, executive director Kirsty Flanagan said: ‘It is hoped that by deferring the process that the position with regard to Covid-19 and the holding of events in 2020/21 and other key even funder grant schemes such as EventScotland, currently suspended, will be clearer.

‘Events are faced with an unprecedented set of extraordinary and challenging circumstances brought about as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and it is anticipated that the situation will continue to be challenging.

‘It is hoped that by pushing the launch date back until the end of October that this will allow the position for 2021/22 to be a bit clearer and to ensure that the process is as fit for purpose at the time of the launch.’

In June the BCC agreed that grants already approved for events which have since had to be cancelled this year due to the pandemic could be carried over until 2021.