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Chancellor Rishi Sunak Announces £1.57 Billion Rescue Package To Save UK Arts Industry

Monday, 06 July 2020 Written by Sophie Williams

Photo: Rishi Sunak Twitter

Rishi Sunak has confirmed details of a vital £1.57 billion support package to protect the UK arts industry.

The government says it is the biggest one-off investment in UK culture, and will provide a lifeline for the struggling arts sector and the people it employs, many of whom have faced the spectre of unemployment as a result of COVID-19.

The news follows numerous campaigns from those who work in the arts, both on stage and off, including the Music Venue Trust's #SaveOurVenues and the more recent #LetTheMusicPlay — the latter gained support from Coldplay, Ed Sheeran, the Rolling Stones, Dua Lipa, Sam Smith, Skepta, Lewis Capaldi, Little Mix and more.

In an announcement posted to Twitter, the Chancellor said: “The show must go on. We’re introducing a world-leading £1.57 billion rescue package to help cultural, arts and heritage institutions weather the impact of coronavirus.”

Details of how the government will distribute the funds are yet to be confirmed, though theatres, galleries, museums, cinemas, heritage sites and music venues will be allowed to apply for a grant to help recoup losses made throughout the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, during which all cultural venues have remained shut.

Emergency funding will also be provided to restart construction work at cultural sites paused as a result of COVID-19, alongside financial assistance for freelancers working within the industry.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson added:

“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.”

Full details of the support package can be accessed via the UK Government's website.

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