Coronavirus: Government commits to £1.57bn emergency investment in UK culture

The UK government has announced a £1.57bn rescue package for the country’s beleaguered cultural sector to help theatres, museums and music venues make it through the coronavirus crisis.

Described by the government as the largest one-off investment in culture, the bailout has brought relief to an industry that appeared on the verge of collapse with hundreds of theatres and music venues warning they would close for good without government support.

The bailout includes £1.15bn of support for cultural organisations in England, comprising £270m of repayable loans and £880m of grants. The government will also give a cash boost of £120m to restart construction on cultural infrastructure in England, which had paused due to the coronavirus pandemic. The funding also includes £188m for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33m), Scotland (£97m) and Wales (£59m).

Independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues will also be eligible.

Oliver Dowden, The culture secretary said the grants and loans were all "new money" and there were two broad aims - to preserve "crown jewel" venues like the Royal Albert Hall and national galleries, while also helping local institutions across the UK.

He said institutions would have to apply through industry bodies and would be asked to prove how they contribute to wider economic growth.

The culture secretary said the government was confident the emergency package would protect the majority of jobs in the culture sector - but not all.

He said: "Sadly, not everyone is going to be able to survive and not every job is going to be protected and sadly, I will have to be honest with you, of course we will see further redundancies."

Guidance for a phased return of the performing arts, starting with performances behind closed doors and rehearsals, is expected to be published by the government shortly.

Опубликовано 05.07.2020.

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