UK Government announce £1.57 billion in funding for the arts

After an outcry from those in the music industry for the Government to help out music venues with the #LetTheMusicPlay initiative, Boris Johnson announced £1.57bn in funding for the arts.

In May, the Music Venue Trust and their #saveourvenues campaign removed 140 British music venues from their “crital” list after a round of funding.

In June, after £2 million in funding from the British public, Music Venue Trust put out an urgent call to the UK Government for £50 million investment into British music venues.

Last Thursday many UK artists including Sir Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones, Ed Sheeran, Dua Lipa and Liam Gallagher promoted the #LetTheMusicPlay initiative. In a joint letter from 1500 artists, UK Music published the following:

UK live music has been one of the UK’s biggest social, cultural, and economic successes of the past decade. But, with no end to social distancing in sight or financial support from government yet agreed, the future for venues, concerts and festivals and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in them looks bleak.

Like other countries such as Germany and Australia, we need the Government to help the music industry, which contributes £5.2 billion to the economy annually and sustains almost 200,000 jobs to ensure it remains world-leading following the damage caused by this pandemic.

Until these businesses can operate again, which is likely to be 2021 at the earliest, government support will be crucial to prevent mass insolvencies and the end of this world-leading industry.

UK Music

The UK Government announced over the weekend it would be providing a £1.57bn support package for Brtain’s arts and culture sector to weather the impact of coronavirus from closure since March and loss of income for Britain’s performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema, including freelancers in these sectors.

The funding includes a £1.15bn support pot for cultural organisations in England, made up of £270m in loans and £880m in grants. Also, an extra £188m for the devolved administrations in Nothern Ireland (£33 million), Scotland (£97 million) and Wales (£59 million).

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.

Boris Johnson – Prime Minister of the United Kingdom

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 industries. 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.

Oliver Dowden MP – HM Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

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 culture. 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.

Rishi Sunak – Chancellor of the Exchequer

Music Venue Trust warmly welcomes this unprecedented intervention into Britain’s world class live music scene. We’d like to thank the Secretary of State and the team at DCMS for the opportunity to work closely together throughout this crisis to develop genuine solutions to the challenges faced by Grassroots Music Venues. This fund provides the opportunity to stabilise and protect our vibrant and vital network of venues and gives us the time we need to create a plan to Reopen Every Venue Safely.

Mark Davyd – CEO of Music Venues Trust

We are delighted that the Government has recognised the special importance of the arts and creativity – including music – to our national life. We warmly welcome specific mention of our cherished music venues, and to support for the arts more widely, which should also assist our classical music sector. The live music industry, and the artist community that it supports, has felt the full, devastating force of the COVID-19 emergency and grassroots venues urgently require support if the UK is to retain its exceptional local music scene and continue to produce world-beating artists. We look forward to further discussing how the funds will be allocated.

Geoff Taylor – Chief Executive BPI & BRIT Awards

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