Our 2020 Freelancer Hardship Fund

14 September 2020

This August, in the absence of a festival, the Assembly Festival and Theatre teams took on a fundraising challenge to support some valuable causes that had been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Working with fundraising platform Crowdfunder, through their partnership with the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, different members of the team took on individual fundraising challenges which all fed into our total. 

Thanks to the generosity of Assembly fans around the world we were able to raise more than £20,000 of which 75% is committed to supporting those Assembly freelancers who slipped through the cracks of government support schemes.

We are offering a limited number of bursaries to freelancers that need short-term relief during this period of intense hardship for our industry. Applicants can apply for up to £2,500 but we ask that individuals only apply for what they need so we can stretch the bursary pot as far as possible.

Applications are now open and will close on at 17:00 on Wednesday 30 September 2020.


Eligibility criteria

Applicants should:

  • Not be in receipt of any government support schemes such as the Self-Employment Support Scheme, Job Retention Scheme or international equivalents.
  • Have worked for Assembly Festival in the last three years.
  • Have an active bank account, preferably in the UK.


How to apply

Please email [email protected] and with info on the following:

  • Details on support received (if applicable) from government or other schemes.
  • Details of jobs lost since March 2020.
  • Amount of support required (up to a maximum of £2,500).

Awards will be decided by a panel consisting of members of the Assembly Theatre Board and applicants will be notified of the outcome by Wednesday 07 October 2020. Applications do not guarantee funding. No report will be required for funding but we may invite you to be part of a thank you for the fund’s supporters later in the year.

Thumbnail and cover photo: Atomic Saloon Show (2019). Photographer: William Burdett-Coutts