UK government giving nearly $2 billion to save arts/culture during COVID-19
The UK government announced it will be offering £1.57 billion (which is nearly $2 billion) in grants and loans to "protect Britain’s world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions" to help them through COVID-19. That includes museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues.
This is the biggest ever single investment in UK arts and culture in Britain's history and here's how it breaks down:
- £1.15 billion support pot for cultural organisations in England delivered through a mix of grants and loans. This will be 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.
- £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 new funding will also mean an extra £188 million for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33 million), Scotland (£97 million) and Wales (£59 million).
So far the UK government has not specified how the funds will be divided up between art forms or regions/cities within the countries, or when the public might be allowed to attend events again. They did reveal a five-stage plan for live performances to return, however.
Says Prime Minister Boris Johnson in a statement, "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."
Mark Davyd, of Music Venue Trust, says, "Music Venue Trust warmly welcomes this unprecedented intervention into Britain’s world class live music scene. We’d like to thank the Secretary of State and the team at DCMS for the opportunity to work closely together throughout this crisis to develop genuine solutions to the challenges faced by grassroots music venues. This fund provides the opportunity to stabilise and protect our vibrant and vital network of venues and gives us the time we need to create a plan to safely reopen live music."
While there has not been any similar help offered on a national level in the US, over 1200 independent venues formed NIVA coalition to help survive COVID-19 pandemic and, in NYC, independent venues and promoters launched Nightlife United to provide COVID-19 relief to venues, employees