- July 6, 2020
- Posted by: Stephen James
- Category: Chancellor
We have announced a world-leading £1.57 billion package of emergency grants and loans to protect Britain’s world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions – helping to ensure they weather the impact of coronavirus.
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 – but coronavirus has posed a huge challenge.
We have already provided unprecedented financial assistance to the UK’s cultural sector through the pandemic, with loans, business rates relief and furlough support, and the money we are announcing today will provide a lifeline to ensure the future of these multibillion-pound, iconic industries is secure.
This is the largest ever investment in UK culture and will safeguard the sector for years to come, ensuring arts groups and venues across the country can stay afloat and support their staff as the economy cautiously reopens again.
Our record-breaking support package for the arts
The £1.57 billion package represents the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture and will provide a lifeline to vital cultural and heritage organisations across the country hit hard by the pandemic. It will ensure they stay afloat, and will protect thousands of organisations across a range of sectors, including the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema.
This builds on the unprecedented financial assistance the Government has already provided to the UK’s cultural sector through the pandemic, with loans, business rates relief and furlough support. More than 350,000 people in the recreation and leisure sector have been furloughed since the pandemic began.
Commenting, the 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.”
And the Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, 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.”
Culture leaders have praised our support package
This is the largest-ever one-off investment in UK culture, and the move has been praised by arts and culture sector leaders.
Alex Beard, the chief executive of the Royal Opera House, said that organisations could now look forward to the future and that the rescue package would be “a catalyst for unlocking the [sector’s] extraordinary creativity”.
And Caroline Norbury, chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, said that while there would not be an “easy return to normal” it was encouraging that the government had “full confidence in our creative industries and arts sector and the instrumental role they can play in helping the country come back together and reset”.
The total package of £1.57 billion is a huge investment in protecting British culture and heritage from the economic havoc caused by coronavirus. It will provide a vital lifeline to cultural and art institutions across the United Kingdom for future generations to enjoy.