Stuart Anderson MP hails record-breaking package of support for UK arts and culture sector

  • £1.57 billion announced by government to protect Britain’s world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions
  • Includes £900 million in grants plus additional £270 million in repayable loans
  • Unprecedented package widely hailed by the arts and creative industries

Thousands of organisations across a range of sectors, including the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema will benefit from access to emergency grants and loans, the Government has announced. 

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, ensuring they stay afloat and protecting multi-billion pound industries that are famous around the world for the future. 

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.

Organisations must make an application to their relevant governing body. Guidance detailing the process, criteria, deadlines and funding available can be found at the links below but vary depending on the body.

  •  Arts Council England – Grants from £50,000 to £3 million. Deadline 10 August.
  •  Historic England – Grants from £10,000 to £3 million. Deadline 17 August.
  •  Heritage Fund (England only) - Grants from £10,000 to £3million. Deadline 17 August.
  •  British Film Institute – Grants from £10,000 to £200,000. Deadline 30 October.

Arts Council England: https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/funding/CRFgrants#section-1
Lottery Heritage Fund: https://www.heritagefund.org.uk/funding/culture-recovery-fund-for-heritage
British Film Institute: https://www.bfi.org.uk/culture-recovery-fund-independent-cinemas
Historic England: https://historicengland.org.uk/coronavirus/funding/recovery/

Successful applicants for grants will need to have an innovative plan for how they will operate and be sustainable for the remainder of this financial year, and be able to demonstrate their international, national or local significance. Smaller organisations must show how they benefit their local community and area.

Stuart Anderson MP welcomed the announcement: “Today’s announcement is fantastic news for Wolverhampton South West and will provide a vital lifeline to cultural and arts institutions across the West Midlands. This will not only secure local jobs but also mean the sector can weather the storm created by coronavirus, come back stronger, and continue to be there for residents and future generations to enjoy.”

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”

Commenting, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden 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. Today we are announcing a huge support package of immediate funding to tackle the funding crisis they face. I said we would not let the arts down, and this massive investment shows our level of commitment.”

Commenting, Chancellor of the Exchequer 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.