Arts, culture and heritage industries across the UK that have been severely impacted during the coronavirus pandemic are to be supported by a £1.57 billion government rescue package.
Emergency grants and loans will soon be available to help thousands of organisations across a range of sectors, including theatres and performing arts companies, heritage sites, museums, galleries, live music venues and independent cinemas.
The funding is intended to help these organisations stay afloat while they remain closed to the public. Funding to restart paused construction projects will also be provided, helping to support employment, including freelancers working in these sectors.
The package includes:
- £1.15 billion for national cultural organisations in England, delivered through a combination of grants and loans. This will be made up of £270 million of repayable finance and £880 million of grants.
- £100 million of targeted support for national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust.
- £120 million of capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England which were halted due to the coronavirus outbreak.
- An additional £188 million for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33 million), Scotland (£97 million) and Wales (£59 million).
The Government says the loans will be issued on ‘generous terms’, tailored for cultural institutions to ensure they are affordable.
Decisions on funding will be made working alongside independent figures from the arts and culture sector, including Arts Council England, Historic England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute (BFI).
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said:
'Our world-renowned galleries, museums, heritage sites, music venues and independent cinemas are not only critical to keeping our economy thriving, employing more than 700,000 people, they’re the lifeblood of British culture.
'That's why we're giving them the vital cash they need to safeguard their survival, helping to protect jobs and ensuring that they can continue to provide the sights and sounds that Britain is famous for.'
Further information will be set out when the scheme opens for applications in the coming weeks.