The UK Government has just increased the budget for emergency funding through the Culture Recovery Fund by £30million, to support museums, cinemas, theatres and heritage organisations through the impact of the Omicron variant this winter.
The UK Government has just increased the budget for emergency funding through the Culture Recovery Fund by £30million, to support museums, cinemas, theatres and heritage organisations through the impact of the Omicron variant this winter. Plus, we’ve also announced a £1.5 million investment into three benevolent funds that provide immediate financial aid for individuals working across the cultural sector.
Announced as part of the Chancellor’s £1 billion support package, this funding recognises how important the festive period is for the arts, heritage and creative sectors and will provide vital emergency grants, doubling the amount that was previously available in the latest round of the Culture Recovery Fund.
These emergency grants will safeguard local museums and heritage, independent cinemas and regional theatres so that they can continue to support jobs, contribute to the economy, and make sure everyone has access to culture and heritage on their doorstep. The government is also extending the application window to give more organisations a chance to apply to the fund and help protect even more jobs. Round two of Arts Council’s Emergency Resource Support is open now for applications.
Government funding via Arts Council England will also provide an immediate £1.5 million to support freelancers affected by the pandemic, match-funding a further £1.35 million contribution from the theatre sector. This will provide grants of £650,000 each directly to the Theatre Artists Fund, Help For Musicians, and £200,000 to a-n, the Artists Information Company, a charity for visual artists which will distribute cash to freelancers over the coming weeks.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, said: “Our arts, culture and heritage sectors bring joy and enrichment to our day-to-day lives, and rarely more so than at Christmas. So we understand how devastating the uncertainty caused by Omicron has been. This new funding, alongside the new grants of up to £6,000 we announced earlier this week, will support the sector as we together face this difficult time. We’ve supported the cultural sector throughout the pandemic, and we’ll continue to do so.”
Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries, said: “From pantos to carol singing to festive film releases, Christmas is a very important time of year for so many of our brilliant arts and culture organisations who have now found themselves impacted by the Omicron variant. It is absolutely right that we support them through this challenging time which is why we’ve doubled the emergency funding available from the Culture Recovery Fund and allowed more time for organisations to come forward. The best thing we can all do to help protect ourselves and to get back to the culture we love is to Get Boosted Now.”
Arts Minister Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay, said: “Thanks to the dedication and ingenuity of people working in the arts, culture and heritage – as well as unprecedented government support – these cherished sectors have already withstood many challenges over the course of the pandemic. The new Omicron variant has added to those challenges by hitting at what is a crucial time of the year for so many artists and organisations. This additional emergency funding will make sure that those most at risk are able to receive the urgent help they need. We are also working with Arts Council England and charities supporting artists across the sectors to help freelancers who have been particularly hit by the cancellation of productions in what should have been a busy and vibrant period. We will continue to work closely with groups and organisations across the sectors to see how we can best provide support to those affected.”
Support for individuals
The government also announced a £1.5 million investment into three benevolent funds, that provide financial aid for individuals working across the cultural sector. These are the Theatre Artists Fund and Help For Musicians (both receiving £650,000) and a-n, The Artist Information Company, a charity for visual artists (receiving £200,000).
This funding will give a much needed helping hand to freelancers who work in creativity and culture in the coming weeks and months.
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