It’s not yet known who is going to get the money and when, but the Government have announced today (Monday) that Britain’s “globally renowned arts, culture and heritage industries” are due to receive a slice of a £1.57 billion rescue package to help weather the impact of Coronavirus.
They say that thousands of organisations across a range of sectors including the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema will be able to access emergency grants and loans.
Too late for some
Isle of Wight museums, theatres, live music venues, and those who work in those sectors, will be breathing a sigh of relief.
For neighbours, such as the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton, the support comes too late.
Staying afloat and restarting
The idea is to help those organisations stay afloat while their doors are closed. Funding will also help to restart paused projects to supporting employment, including freelancers working in these sectors.
The $1.57bn package includes:
- £1.15 billion support pot for cultural organisations in England delivered through a mix of grants and loans. This will be made up of £270 million of repayable finance and £880 million grants.
- £100 million of targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust.
- £120 million capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England which was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.
- The new funding will also mean an extra £188 million for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33 million), Scotland (£97 million) and Wales (£59 million).
More details in the coming weeks
The scheme won’t be opening for applications yet, the Government say more details will be released in the coming weeks.
Decisions on awards will be made working alongside expert independent figures from the sector including the Arts Council England and other specialist bodies such as Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.
Dowden: Understand the grave challenges the arts face
The Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said,
Our arts and culture are the soul of our nation. They make our country great and are the lynchpin of our world-beating and fast growing creative industries.
I understand the grave challenges the arts face and we must protect and preserve all we can for future generations. Today we are announcing a huge support package of immediate funding to tackle the funding crisis they face. I said we would not let the arts down, and this massive investment shows our level of commitment.
Seely: Need to ensure there is something for people to do as we emerge from lockdown
Isle of Wight Conservative MP, Bob Seely, said:
“I’m pleased that the Government is able to support this sector. First, we need to protect jobs, but we also need to ensure there is something for people to do as we emerge from lockdown.
“It’s these kind of venues that provide something uplifting for people after months of lockdown.
“I hope that Isle of Wight groups will take advantage of this fund when it becomes available.”
3.35pm 6th July 2020 – Comment added from Seely
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