Charities handed “lifeline” as Government announces “biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture”

The Government has announced a £1.57 billion rescue package to support the nation’s “world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions”.

According to the report, the emergency grants and loans will be available to not-for-profit and private sector museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites, and music venues affected by Covid-19.

Representing the “biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture”, the Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the rescue package will “provide a lifeline to vital cultural and heritage organisations across the country hit hard by the pandemic”.

The support package includes £1.15 billion for cultural organisations in England delivered through a mix of grants and loans, made up of £270 million of repayable finance and £880 million grants; £100 million of targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust; and £120 million capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England which was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The funding comes as thousands of struggling arts and cultural businesses were told to keep their doors shut in a bid to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

It adds to existing schemes available for businesses affected by Covid-19, such as Business Rates Relief, the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS), and grant funding of up to £25,000 available through the Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund.

Welcoming the funding, Neil Constable, CEO of Shakespeare’s Globe, said: “We at Shakespeare’s Globe welcome this significant investment from the Government in our world-leading theatres and cultural institutions.

“As an independent charity, The Globe needs support throughout this difficult time and will now have the opportunity to plan to reopen fully by early 2021. We will of course be taking opportunities, if social distancing allows, to reopen earlier, and until then this investment allows us to offer our world-class performances and education online for audiences and students across the world, before safely bringing our actors, creatives, staff, and visitors alike together in our wonderful iconic theatres.”

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