UK Announces £1.57 Billion Arts Support Fund

US Finally, some support for the creative industry      06/07/20

UK Announces £1.57 Billion Arts Support Fund

No need to explain why this is necessary is there? 

Apart from the rather scary figures of a recent survey in which "artist" appeared to rank very poorly in the Singapore Sunday Times top 5 non-essential jobs  - 77% thought it was not an important role, ranking below Telemarketer and Social Media Manager and making it the Number 1 non-essential role in society! 

We suspect this may have been asked in a way that assumed artist was just an oil-painting stereotype, rather than portrayed as musician, product designer etc, and we'd hope that the results would have been very different if so. Not that we consider it to be any less valued of course...

But most people fail to realize the the creative industry drives so may others - designers make stuff we use, architects build, artists create the TV, film, music etc that we have been consuming during these difficult times.

In the UK the industry is said to be worth up to £20 billion to the economy, and yet for many the lockdown period has resulted in work falling off a cliff.  Our national theatre had to make significant numbers redundant only last week, but additionally touring bands, hire companies and venues have gone to zero work in a very short space of time.

Many governments have recognized the cultural significance of this and provided funding to keep the industry supported and now the UK government has announced  a package of £1.57 Billion

The package covers funding for Britain's museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues. It includes a £1.15bn ($1.43bn) pot for cultural organizations in England, comprised of £270m in loans and £880m in grants.

Music venues have been especially badly hit so we hope that they can get access to the funds they need to stay afloat and be ready to recommence once its safe to do so.

according to the Guardian newspaper:

  • A £1.15bn support pot for cultural organisations in England, consisting of £270m in loans and £880m in grants.
  • £100m of targeted support for England's national cultural institutions and English Heritage.
  • £120m of capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England paused because of the pandemic.
  • Extra money for devolved administrations, with £97m for Scotland, £59m for Wales and £33m for Northern Ireland.

It sounds like a lot, but it has to cover a lot of ground - museums, theatres, galleries, as well as live music venues. Buts its great to see that art is being valued and good news all round.

What is not clear is how venues can get hold of the funding, a good place to start is:

We only hope that all countries recognise the importance of the arts in their own culture and can fund accordingly.



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