As with a lot of other areas, the entertainment and music sector of the British economy tanked when lockdown was enforced across the nation. However, unlike the rest of the economy, the future for the arts is far from a clear vision.
Now, the government has heeded the numerous calls for funding and have released £1.57 billion in aid for struggling venues, theatres and cultural sites. It has moved to ease some fears that Britain’s rich cultural heritage will not take a drastic hit.
Some sites will be allocated the new stimulus package while others, including independent cinemas and heritage sites, will be allowed to apply for loans or grants following the devastating impact of COVID-19 pandemic.
A statement from the Government read: “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.” While the term ‘world-leading’ leaves a lot to be desired, France is releasing €7billion, after all, it does at least offer a stimulus to the sector.
“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,” a statement added.
“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.”
The majority of the money will be available through a series of grants while some will be made available through loans. While it’s unclear the exact trials and tribulations of receiving the funds are yet to be explored, it is undoubtedly a welcome move forward form the government for an arts and culture sector that were screaming out for help.
The show must go on.— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) July 5, 2020
We’re introducing a world-leading £1.57 billion rescue package to help cultural, arts and heritage institutions weather the impact of coronavirus. pic.twitter.com/J3KXUOxJEE