Arts organisations urged to apply for first wave of £1.57bn government funding
Arts organisations in England have been urged to apply for a share of £500 million from the Government’s support package for the cultural sector.
Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage said those who need help should “come forward” when applications for the first wave of the £1.57 billion funding package open on Monday.
Arts Council England will be accepting applications for up to £500 million in grants, while the British Film Institute will also be reviewing applications for its £30 million funding scheme for independent cinemas from Monday.
Grants of between £50,000 and £3 million will be distributed to arts organisations, while independent cinemas will be able to apply for grants of up to £200,000.
Organisations asking for funding will have to demonstrate their local, national or international significance and the positive impact they have on their communities.
Eligible organisations including galleries, museums, theatres, music venues and independent cinemas will also have to show how they will be financially sustainable in the long term.
Ms Dinenage said: “We know how important our culture is to our nation’s success, wellbeing and confidence.
“It is this creative magic that for centuries has put our island on the world stage – from Dickens to Disclosure.
“That is why we are supporting our arts, culture and heritage sectors with a £1.57 billion recovery package to ensure these industries can survive now and thrive again in the future.
“From tomorrow, a share of more than half a billion pounds worth of funding is open for applications from theatres, museums, music venues and independent cinemas across the country.
“I urge those that need help to come forward so we can help as many as possible get back to doing what you do best.
“We want this funding to reach far and wide and its impact to be felt in communities across the country to ensure that our cultural sectors are able to bounce back strongly.”
Kwame Kwei-Armah, artistic director of the Young Vic theatre, said the support package shows that arts organisations are “essential not only to the fabric of society but vital and essential to the communities they are located within and serve”.
“My hope is that as many centres of culture can apply and receive funds as needed to stabilise, reorganise, and continue the innovation we as a sector are recognised for worldwide,” he said.
“We cannot rebuild the world that was; hopefully this recovery fund will help us sight the future, and run towards it.”
The remainder of the allocated £1.57 billion budget for the rescue package will be distributed at a later date, with a second round due to take place later in the financial year.
When the funding package was announced last month, shadow culture secretary Jo Stevens said that, while she welcomed the “much-needed” cash injection, it was “too little, too late” for many.
On Monday, entertainment and media union Bectu said there have been 5,000 coronavirus-related job losses in the theatre industry.
Last month a report from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee warned that the UK risks becoming a “cultural wasteland” because of the coronavirus pandemic.