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Cultural Institutions to be Given “Unprecedented” Financial Support


British cultural institutions, including theatres, cinemas, and performing arts venues, have been given a boost following the announcement of a £1.5bn rescue package designed to support the sector following the COVID-19 crisis.


The news comes after the “grand reopening” of the hospitality sector over the weekend, which saw pubs, restaurants, and cafes across England open their doors for the first time since March.

With many cultural venues still unable to reopen, the emergency package will give arts institutions access to much-needed grants and loans. The money represents the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture, and will provide a lifeline to cultural and heritage organisations across the country that have been hit hard by the pandemic. The package has been drawn up to help arts venues stay afloat while they are forced to remain closed.

Introducing the package, Boris Johnson described cultural institutions as “the lynchpin of [the UK’s] world-beating and fast-growing creative industries”, and that “we must protect and preserve all we can 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 details of the package include:

- £1.15bn support fund for cultural organisations in England, including of £270m in loans and £880m in grants.
- £100m in targeted support for England’s national cultural institutions and English Heritage.
- £120m of capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure.
- Additional funds for devolved administrations, with £97m for Scotland, £59m for Wales and £33m for Northern Ireland.

The government is yet to make clear when live performance venues will be able to reopen. Under the current social distancing guidelines, it’s clear that such venues will be unable to operate. However, the government has insisted that it is finalising guidance for a phased return of the performing arts sectors that will be published shortly. The Department for Culture, Media, and Sport is working with the sector to develop a plan for its return.



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