The UK government have just announced a £1.57 billion investment package to protect Britain’s world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions.
The future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues will be protected with emergency grants and loans. Funding will also be provided to restart construction work at cultural and heritage sites paused as a result of the pandemic
Britain’s globally renowned arts, culture and heritage industries will receive a world-leading £1.57 billion rescue package to help weather the impact of coronavirus, the government announced today.
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.
The money, which represents the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture, will provide a lifeline to vital cultural and heritage organisations across the country hit hard by the pandemic. It will help them stay afloat while their doors are closed. Funding to restart paused projects will also help support employment, including freelancers working in these sectors.
Many of Britain’s cultural and heritage institutions have already received unprecedented financial assistance to see them through the pandemic including loans, business rate holidays and participation in the coronavirus job retention scheme. More than 350,000 people in the recreation and leisure sector have been furloughed since the pandemic began.
This new package will be available across the country and ensure the future of these multi billion-pound industries are secured.
Sir Nicholas Serota, Chair, Arts Council England, said:
“We greatly welcome this very significant investment by the government in the future of arts and culture in this country and look forward to working with them on next steps. I know our amazing artists and creative organisations will repay the faith that the government has shown by demonstrating the range of their creativity, by serving their communities and by helping the nation recover as we emerge from the pandemic.”
The package announced today includes funding for national cultural institutions in England and investment in cultural and heritage sites to restart construction work paused as a result of the pandemic. This will be a big step forward to help rebuild our cultural infrastructure.
This unprecedented 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).
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.
Repayable finance will be issued on generous terms tailored for cultural institutions to ensure they are affordable. Further details will be set out when the scheme opens for applications in the coming weeks.
The government is finalising guidance for a phased return of the performing arts sectors that will be published shortly. The government is working with the sectors to get it back up and running as soon as it is safe to do so and is being guided by medical experts.