Statement from Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; HM Treasury
5th July 2020
£1.57 billion investment to protect Britain’s world-class cultural, arts
and heritage institutions
· Cultural and heritage organisations to be protected with £1.57
billion support package
· Future of Britain’s museums, galleries, theatres, independent
cinemas, heritage sites and music venues will be protected with emergency
grants and loans
· Funding will also be provided to restart construction work at
cultural and heritage sites paused as a result of the pandemic
Britain’s globally renowned arts, culture and heritage industries will
receive a world-leading £1.57 billion rescue package to help weather the
impact of coronavirus, the government announced today.
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 be able to access
emergency grants and loans.
The money, which represents the biggest ever one-off investment in UK
culture, will provide a lifeline to vital cultural and heritage
organisations across the country hit hard by the pandemic. It will help
them stay afloat while their doors are closed. Funding to restart paused
projects will also help support employment, including freelancers working
in these sectors.
Many of Britain’s cultural and heritage institutions have already received
unprecedented financial assistance to see them through the pandemic
including loans, business rate holidays and participation in the
coronavirus job retention scheme. More than 350,000 people in the
recreation and leisure sector have been furloughed since the pandemic
This new package will be available across the country and ensure the future
of these multi billion-pound industries are secured.
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.”
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
“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.”
Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer 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
“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.”
The package announced today includes funding for national cultural
institutions in England and investment in cultural and heritage sites to
restart construction work paused as a result of the pandemic. This will be
a big step forward to help rebuild our cultural infrastructure.
This unprecedented package includes:
£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).
Decisions on awards will be made working alongside expert independent
figures from the sector including the Arts Council England and other
specialist bodies such as Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund
and the British Film Institute.
Repayable finance will be issued on generous terms tailored for cultural
institutions to ensure they are affordable. Further details will be set out
when the scheme opens for applications in the coming weeks.
Dominic Cavendish is the lead theatre critic for The Daily Telegraph. He is the founding editor of the audio archive Theatrevoice
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