British Council & Creative Scotland Partnership 

Open Funding Call: Scotland – Europe 2020 

British Council and Creative Scotland are inviting proposals from artist/s or organisations working in visual art, theatre, dance, literature, music and cross art form to undertake projects with European countries. 

The Scottish arts sector has many established connections in Europe and participates in major international platforms such as Classical Next, Venice Biennale or major festivals (Le Festival Interceltique de Lorient and Cannes etc). However, considering the changing context within Europe, the aim of this fund is to support artists and arts organisations in Scotland to strengthen or establish new relationships and networks with European peers, undertake research or pilot initiatives to inform and enable future collaborations to take place

We have allocated a total fund of £50,000, which is now available to receive project proposals from the above artforms.

This fund is to support projects which must be completed by the end of March 2021.  Activity can take place in Scotland and/or in Europe with one or more European country. (The priority countries for the UK are Germany, Italy France, Spain and Ireland, however proposals which also include other European countries are welcome, including Nordics).

Projects could be manifested in a number of ways such as research and scoping visit, cultural exchange, workshops, delegations, conferences, residencies etc. All proposals should be, or lead to, mutual benefit.

Ultimately the British Council and Creative Scotland Partnership’s aim is to support the development of long-term sustainable partnerships between the UK and European countries where collaborations can flourish, and sustainable networks can exist. 

Fund Guidelines

British Council Scotland has a longstanding partnership agreement with Creative Scotland aiming to develop international relationships in order to ensure Scotland’s creativity is recognised internationally and is part of British Council’s UK cultural relations offer.

There is a genuine commitment from the arts sector in Scotland to work internationally and this has helped inform the partnership’s choice to focus part of its activity on work with Europe. 

The key aims for the partnership are to:

  • Create and build key international opportunities for artists
  • Foster international ambition and excellence in Scotland through collaborations, networks, showcasing and strategic interventions
  • Promote established and emerging artists whose creative work is innovative and of a high quality
  • Provide transformational international experiences
  • Nurture important international markets as a route to a sustainable creative economy
  • Engage international audiences to enhance their understanding of arts and creative economy in Scotland. 


Proposals should meet the following criteria: 

  • The applicant is based in Scotland 
  • If European partner/s has/have been identified, appropriate management arrangements should be in place
  • The projects must be concluded by the end of March 2021
  • There is a comprehensive budget breakdown and some funding already in place (at least 10% cash or in kind,) or/and a viable plan for closing any gap
  • The budget (and/or project narrative) includes relevant information about agreed or potential buy-in from European partners or institutions, expressing their level of commitment through match-funding, in kind, etc.
  • The upper limit for any individual bid is £10k
  • It is realistic, achievable and deliverable within the timeframe and budget
  • It is appropriate and high-quality
  • Has the potential to bring collaborative work to Scotland and/or has the potential to build new partnerships between artists, producers, curators and organisations in Scotland and Europe beyond 2021
  • The project can include elements of touring or showcasing existing work, but these cannot be core to the purpose of the proposal (this will render the project ineligible) 
  • Priority will be given to proposals which offer support to unlock, enable or provide a bridge between early stage connection/s and the development or implementation of bigger sustainable initiatives.

Proposals should include:  

  • Brief project description 
  • Aims and objectives 
  • Partners (Scottish and European partners) and their respective roles if appropriate
  • Timeline of activities 
  • How the project is mutually beneficial for those involved 
  • Budget breakdown including: total project cost, request to partnership, details of any cash and in-kind income from other sources 
  • Plans for documenting and evaluating the project 
  • Please also include any supporting material which you feel will strengthen your application 

Proposal deadline: 

Proposals should be submitted by Wednesday 4 March 2020 using the online application form accessible via this link:

Enquiries can be made to Gwen McLeod at or on 0131 524 5776.  

Proposals will be assessed jointly by British Council Scotland, British Council EU and Creative Scotland and successful applicants will be informed by 10 March 2020.  Given the size of the fund, it’s unlikely we’ll be able to support every proposal. 

Supporting Information

British Council – EU Strategy

In light of the outcome of the referendum which led to the UK’s current membership withdrawal of the European Union, British Council convened a number of events with the arts sector in the EU and the UK to identify shared concerns on the consequences of Brexit, and helped inform the refresh of British Council’s EU Arts Strategy.

The British Council has worked in Europe for over 80 years and remains committed to cultural relations, therefore the arts programme aims to strengthen relationships during the UK’s exit from the EU and to enable long-term partnerships between arts organisations and professionals from all four nations of the UK and across the EU, and support the art sector in the following ways:

  • Maintain our long-term strategic relationships with the EU at the most senior levels 
  • Broker opportunities for artistic collaboration for artists and arts organisations 
  • Keep channels of communication open 
  • Ensure that the voices of current and emerging art leaders are heard in Europe and to continue to take part in the exchange of creative ideas

Creative Scotland – European and international work 

Creative Scotland believes that working internationally is key to ensuring that Scotland remains a successful and distinctive creative nation connected to the world. 

Creative Scotland continues to support artists and creative practitioners to take their work overseas and showcase Scotland’s creativity at festivals and cultural events across the globe. Creative Scotland likewise supports the presentation of international work in Scotland, enabling Scotland’s communities and local economies to experience the benefits of embracing high-quality international creative experiences. Exchanges remain a vital part of our cultural landscape, in which artists and creative practitioners deepen their practice through international dialogue and collaboration. International relationships promote Scotland as an important global centre for the arts, screen, and creative industries with a richly diverse culture that has strong traditional roots and an appetite for experimentation and innovation.

Following the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union Creative Scotland are particularly keen to support artists and other cultural professionals in Scotland to develop connections with their other European peers and partners.

Creative Scotland is also a partner in Creative Europe Desk UK and hosts the Scotland office, the contact point for the EU’s Creative Europe funding programme and a partnership led by BFI and British Council with Arts Council England, Creative Scotland and Welsh Government. Creative Europe Desk UK-Scotland provides free information and advice to Scottish creative, cultural and heritage organisations on Creative Europe projects, partnerships and applications. The office also signposts to information on other EU funding programmes such as Erasmus Plus, Europe for Citizens and Horizon 2020, which are still open to UK applicants for the duration of this year.

These guidelines are available to download as a PDF below.

External links