Swansea Council is to offer a new round of grants to help freelance workers in the cultural and creative sectors through the pandemic.

The funding – in the form of one-off £2,500 payments – will support applicants facing financial challenges as a result of the Covid-19 outbreak.

The fund will be managed by the council’s cultural, economic development and external funding teams and will offer grants on a first come first served business. The application portal will close when all grants are committed.

Robert Francis-Davies, the council’s cabinet member for investment, regeneration and tourism, said: “We first offered around £200,000 of these grants early this month – and they were swiftly applied for by local freelancers. We were pleased to help.

“Many freelancers have had no work since lockdown. Many creative projects have been stopped or cancelled, leaving creatives without any regular income or support network.

“The council wants to ensure that our professional artists and our creative industries are given a helping hand at this critical time. We want to assist freelancers to keep their businesses running through this national crisis. They are an important part of our local economy.”

David Hopkins, cabinet member for delivery and operations – and joint deputy leader, said: “We have in place a swift and fair process that will help the self-employed in our cultural and creative sectors move on as coronavirus continues to affect society and their business.

“I urge all applicable Swansea freelancers working in the arts, culture, creative industries, heritage or events sectors, to make an application. It doesn’t matter if they’ve previously received support from either the Government Job Retention Scheme or Self- employment Income Support Scheme.”

The Freelancer Grant was launched by the Welsh Government. A new allocation of around £200,000 will be overseen locally by Swansea Council and will operate through an online portal.

Those applying must show that their business has been impacted by the pandemic. Applications will include examples of documents such as contracts and invoices. Applicants for round one earlier this month should not apply to this new application window.

To apply go to the Culture Recovery Fund Eligibility Checker on the Business Wales website https://fundchecker.businesswales.gov.wales/culture. Those eligible will be directed to an online application form on a council web page. Forms may also be requested from Business Wales.

Advice on filling in the application form can be made to the council’s cultural services team – email Cultural.Services@Swansea.gov.uk.

Round two applications open at 10am on Monday, October 19. The online portal will close when all grants are committed – which may take only several hours. It is advisable that applicants prepare documentation in advance for uploading.

It is believed that this will be the final opportunity to access this fund.

Swansea Council has delivered business grants worth tens of millions of pounds during the pandemic to help the local economy.

Business Wales provides support for existing businesses and individuals considering starting a business or freelancing. The service can help you understand your needs and provide tailored support that include access to online tools, workshops and webinars on a range of business topics, advisers and mentors.

Business Wales advisers can help you develop an action plan, provide business and financial advice and help you access other support or wider networks that you might benefit from.

Swansea Council

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