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UK government to roll out £1.57 billion pandemic support package for the arts

Music venues, clubs, museums, theatres, and galleries will be eligible for grants.

The UK government has just announced a £1.57 billion package set up for arts, culture, and heritage industries, which have been left in ruins due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. This ‘one-off investment’ is comprised of £880m available in grants, and £270m worth of loans, which will be available until April 2021.

Just last week, the #LetTheMusicPlay campaign called for the UK government to do more to support the British music industry. A letter, co-signed by 1500 artists, was also sent to UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden, emphasizing the impact the pandemic will ultimately have on the region’s music scene.

According to Dowden, the grants and loans are all ‘new money’ and there are two broad aims – to preserve ‘crown jewel’ venues like the Royal Albert Hall and national galleries, while also helping local institutions across the UK. Institutions will have to apply through industry bodies and will be asked to prove how they contribute to wider economic growth.

The culture secretary said the government was confident the emergency package would protect the majority of jobs in the culture sector – but not all.

‘Sadly, not everyone is going to be able to survive, and not every job is going to be protected, and sadly, I will have to be honest with you, of course, we will see further redundancies’, says Dowden.

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