How does it work?

Culture & Business Fund Scotland (‘the Fund’) match funding is simple.

  • If an arts or heritage organisation attracts an eligible business to sponsor an aspect of their work then we could match the value of the sponsorship £ for £.
  • This match funding goes towards the arts or heritage organisation’s project.
  • The sponsor then receives a second programme of business benefits in recognition of the fact that their initial investment has enabled the CBFS funding which in turn enables a heightened cultural activity or a second cultural project.
  • The maximum match funding is £40,000 and the minimum match funding is £1,000.
  • Both in-kind and cash sponsorship are eligible.
  • The sponsorship must come from the sponsor’s own funds, goods or services.
  • If there is more than one business sponsoring the same arts or heritage activity, a separate application may be made for each business.

Definition of sponsorship

‘Sponsorship’ is defined as the payment of funds or goods in kind by a business to an arts or heritage organisation in exchange for agreed benefits. These benefits might comprise promotion of the business’s name, its products or services.

The sponsorship must be part of the business’s general promotional expenditure; this can address the business’s promotional work, corporate social responsibility (CSR) work and/or staff development.

Who can apply?


Any arts or heritage organisation based in Scotland can apply as the lead applicant. However, profit making arts and heritage organisations must evidence the project to be of community benefit to be eligible.

Arts & Business Scotland will require the following:

  • evidence of how the organisation is constituted and registered;
  • a full project programme; and
  • evidence that the public will participate.

Any not-for-profit organisations based in Scotland which are non-arts or non-heritage related (particularly charities fundraising via arts or heritage activities) may apply as long as the sponsored and match-funded activities being supported are arts or heritage related. The applying organisation must be properly constituted and hold a company bank account. Cultural trusts are eligible to apply.


Individual artists’ and creatives’ projects are ineligible. However, if the sponsored and match-funded activities they are producing are on behalf of a not-for-profit cultural organisation, then the organisation itself could be the lead applicant. Local authorities that do not have a remit for arts and heritage are ineligible.


Any business can apply, even if not based in Scotland. Clearly differentiated business units within a company may be considered as separate sponsors in their own right and so be eligible. Some public bodies may be eligible as a business sponsor if their support is clearly arts or heritage sponsorship and promotion, and if support of the arts or heritage is outwith the organisation’s normal sphere of activity.


Public bodies (including public body trading companies) for whom the promotion or support of arts and heritage is within their normal sphere of activity are ineligible. For example, universities and trusts and foundations are not eligible as sponsors. All local authorities are also ineligible to apply as a sponsor, whether they have a remit for arts and heritage or not.

Should you have a query on eligibility please call 0131 556 3353 or email

How much can you apply for?

An arts or heritage organisation can receive match funding up to the value of £40,000 in any one financial year. The year runs from 1 April to 31 March.

Applicants can apply for more than one grant in the year with the same or different business sponsors, providing the total sum awarded is £40,000 or under.

For applicants with a business sponsor that have already received match funding within the financial year, the subsequent application must be for a completely different arts or heritage project. For example, if the first match funding awarded was for a performance, exhibition or tour then a subsequent application could be made for an educational outreach programme, public artwork or heritage trail.

A business or business unit can receive up to £40,000 of additional sponsorship benefits against their investment in one or more arts or heritage organisations within the first financial year of application. The year runs from 1 April to 31 March.

As noted above, if a subsequent application is with the same arts or heritage organisation then it must be for a completely different arts or heritage project.


For more information or to make a general enquiry


For help and advice when completing your application