Britain’s globally renowned arts, culture and heritage industries will benefit from a £1.57 billion rescue package to help them weather the impact of coronavirus, the government has announced.
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
The money, which represents the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture, will provide a lifeline to cultural and heritage organisations across the country hit hard by the pandemic, helping them to stay afloat while their doors are closed. Funding to restart paused projects will also help support employment, including freelancers working in these sectors.
The government has tasked a number of arts organisations, including Arts Council England, Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute, with assessing applications for £880m worth of emergency arts business grants up to £50,000. Applications can be made from later this month and the scheme will be available until April 2021.
In addition to these grants, the Government will provide security and subsidised interest on £270m worth of repayable loans, similar to CBILS which have been made available for businesses.
Other measures have been announced for struggling arts organisations, including:
- £100m of targeted support for national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust;
- £120m of capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England that were paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.