Unexpected £1.57bn (€1.73bn) Support Package from the UK government brings welcome relief

emergency financial package for the Arts in the UK

Credit Boris Johnson Facebook

The arts and culture sector of the UK has been devastated by the lockdown, which has left many legendary venues facing bankruptcy

THE MVT (Music Venues Trust), has been lobbying for months to be included in the long list of government bailouts, the #saveourvenues campaign has been in continuous contact with number 10 to support the grassroots venues across the country in an attempt to save the entertainment industry.

On Thursday (July 2), a host of top artists from the UK – including Sir Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Liam Gallagher – heaped further pressure on the government as part of an industry-wide #LetTheMusicPlay campaign

In a joint letter, some 1,500 artists said: “UK live music has been one of the UK’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade. But, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.

“Until these businesses can operate again, which is likely to be 2021 at the earliest, government support will be crucial to prevent mass insolvencies and the end of this world-leading industry.”

The French have had this in place for a little while now and the UK are playing catchup.

The prime minister Boris Johnson today made an announcement that the government is releasing an emergency package of funding for the sector. The British government calls the rescue package HM Treasury’s “biggest-ever one-off investment in UK culture.”

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.”

In a report to the Guardian, the support package includes:

A £1.15bn (€1.61bn) support pot for cultural organisations in England, consisting of £270m in loans and £880m in grants.

£100m, €1.1m of targeted support for England’s national cultural institutions and English Heritage.

£120m, €132m of capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England paused because of the pandemic.

Extra money for devolved administrations, with £97m, €107m for Scotland, £59m, €65m for Wales and £33m, €36m for Northern Ireland.

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Written by

Mark T Connor

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