Written by Shona Smith on Jul 7, 2020. Posted in General Interest

UK Government pledge GBP1.5 billion to arts sector

Independent cinema, theatres, music venues, museums and other cultural organisations in England will be supported by a GBP1.15 billion package. The emergency rescue package will help cultural and heritage organisations stay afloat while doors are closed. The funding will support freelancers working in these sectors as paused projects will be able to restart.

The announcement comes after increasing pressure to support the sector. Creative industries accounted for over two million UK jobs in 2018 and contributed nearly GBP111.7 to the UK economy. Creatives and figures in the industry had asked for government investment to sustain the workforce made up of most freelance and self-employed artists, support recovery and safeguard the future of the arts industries.

The package will include GBP100 million of targeted support for England’s national cultural institutions and English Heritage, GBP120 million of capital investment is intended to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England paused due to the pandemic. Devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland will be supported with GBP97 million, GBP59 million and GBP33 million respectively.

Decisions on awards will be made working alongside expert individuals from the sector including the British Film Institute, Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England.

Oliver Dowden Culture Secretary said “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. I understand the grave challenges the arts face and we must protect and preserve all we can for future generations”.

Ben Roberts, BFI Chief Executive noted “This is very welcome news for our independent cinemas, who play a vital cultural role across the country. Today’s announcement will help many of them to reopen soon and safely for audiences and staff, and bring communities and film lovers together again. We are grateful to Government for recognising the importance of our film culture.

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