£1.57bn rescue package to protect UK’s cultural and heritage industries

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heritage industries, rescue package,
© Anizza

Arts, culture and heritage industries across the UK will receive a slice of a £1.57bn rescue package to help combat the impact of coronavirus

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 rescue package, 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.

Funding to restart paused projects will also help support employment, including freelancers working in these sectors.

This new package, announced by the government, will be available across the country and ensure the future of these industries is secured.

Prime minister Boris Johnson, said: “From iconic theatre and musicals, mesmerising exhibitions at our world-class galleries to gigs performed in local basement venues, the UK’s cultural industry is the beating heart of this country.

“This money will help safeguard the sector for future generations, ensuring arts groups and venues across the UK can stay afloat and support their staff whilst their doors remain closed and curtains remain down.”

‘The soul of our nation’

Oliver Dowden culture secretary, commented: “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 [5 July] 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.”

Rishi Sunak, chancellor of the exchequer, 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.”

The rescue package includes:

  • £1.15bn support pot for cultural organisations in England delivered through a mix of grants and loans. This will be made up of £270m of repayable finance and £880m grants.
  • £100m of targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust.
  • £120m 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 £188m for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33m), Scotland (£97m) and Wales (£59m).

Decisions on awards will be made working alongside 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.

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