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Coronavirus Update: 8 December

We have a packed blog for you this week, with many helpful updates. In particular you'll find several exciting opportunities for creatives, and a reminder that the third Self Employment Income Support Scheme grant is now open for claims. Find all that and more below:


Claim the Next SEISS Grant: The third Self Employment Income Support Scheme grant is now open for applications. You must make your claim between 30 November 2020 and 29 January 2021 and you must claim yourself. Check to see if you’re eligible and make a claim here.


Social Innovation Competition: This competition offer three £5000 prizes for the most innovative ideas that fit a great outdoors theme. The deadline is 11 December 12 noon, find out more here.


LaunchMe Programme: Scotland's social enterprise accelerator programme offers your social enterprise business support to help you become investment ready and scale your impact. Deadline is the 14 December 12 noon. Find out more here.


CNPA Creative Survey: If you’re living & working as a creative in Highland Perthshire/Cairngorms National Park Area, here’s a chance to have your say via this survey to help inform of the kind of support you're looking for to further develop and build a thriving creative community. If you create, make, perform, run a creative organisation, venue, gallery or outlet in the Cairngorms National Park area please fill out this survey and share it with your creative friends across the area. Closing date extended until end of play Sun 13 December.


Fresh Ink — Opportunity for Writers: This programme will award up to 10 emerging writers with a bursary of £1,000 for creative responses to ‘my experience of 2020’. Commissions will be awarded to those who can evidence their suitability, and their commitment to writing. Applicants can choose from a range of genres and forms including, but not limited to: fiction, poetry, graphic novella, drama, and flash fiction. The deadline for applications is 4 January 2021. Find out more and apply here.


Birnam Arts Studio Access Residency: This is a one month ‘Studio Access Residency’ for February 2021 and offers: access to the Visual Arts Workshop and Dance Studio; the opportunity to dedicate time and space to artistic practice & development; an artist fee of £500; a 2 week Solo Exhibition in the Upper Gallery in March 2021. Curatorial support would also be available. Applications can be downloaded here, and should be submitted to kate@birnamarts.com. Deadline: Thursday 17 December 2020 at 10:00.


XpoNorth Heritage Webinars: A series of 5 free webinars on how museums can act as an archive to inspire new products and designs with a local flavour and strong provenance — looking at how museums, designers and other businesses can work together more effectively. The first seminar is on 10 December, find out more here.


Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF): The Scottish Government have announced a new Flexible Workforce Development Fund (FWDF) which will allow SMEs to access up to £5,000 worth of training through Scotland’s colleges. Defined as a business with less than 250 employees, SMEs will be able to access training locally at Perth College UHI to support them in adapting and responding to the impacts of COVID-19 and help their existing employees to upskill and reskill. Download the brochure here.


Coronavirus (COVID-19): Self-catering Accommodation Guidance for Festive Period: A maximum of 8 people from up to 3 households which have formed a bubble can stay in self-catering accommodation over the period 23 to 27 December. Children under the age of 12 from these households do not count towards the total number. A Christmas gathering is not allowed in an area outside the local authority area in which one of the participants lives. Operators should check that at least one household participating is from within the local authority area. See the full guidelines here.


MTB Secure Storage Grant Scheme: Funding assistance of up to £500 is available to enhance the provision of secure storage facilities for bikes, available exclusively to accommodation providers in the Aberdeenshire and Highland regions. This contribution is a maximum of 50% of overall project costs to improve your mountain bike visitor experience. Find out more here.


Social Business Start-up School: A HIE service delivered by Social Enterprise Academy, to support new ‘social business’ start-ups through: one to one coaching/mentoring; workshops; peer learning support sessions; online resources. This is now open to anyone in the Highlands & Islands area looking to start a new social enterprise or private business with social/environmental outcomes. Apply here.


Communities Leading in Tourism: This is a HIE & SOSE programme delivered by Social Enterprise Academy, to enable communities to develop a vision for the sort of tourism they want, and then make it happen. This is a 12-day online programme beginning in January and open to people in community/social enterprise organisations from the Highlands & Islands and South of Scotland areas. Apply here.


Comrie Development Trust: Comrie Development Trust has begun a review of its activities at Cultybraggan Camp in support of its strategy for the long-term operation of the camp. As part of this process they are seeking the views of Trust members, local businesses on and off site, community groups, residents and visitors, who are invited to respond to their online survey questionnaire here.


COVID-19 Public Transport Retrofit Fund: This new fund aimed at supporting public transport operators during COVID-19 is now available. The fund supports the installation of measures needed to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission on vehicles and aims to improve capacity and increase public confidence while on board. An interim deadline for applications is 15 December 2020 when the scheme will be reviewed with funders. Find out more here.


The Scotland Broadband Voucher Scheme: This scheme is now live, with two types of vouchers available to help you get a good broadband connection. To claim, go to scotlandsuperfast.com to search your postcode and address, and a pop up box will tell you if you are eligible. If you are, then continue your enquiry with any of the registered suppliers listed here, as the supplier will request the voucher on your behalf. Find out more here.


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