Theatres, museums and galleries get £1.6billion lifeline

Theatres, museums and galleries get £1.6billion lifeline as thousands of arts venues shut by coronavirus are not expected to reopen for mass events until next year

  • Cultural venues including theatres to get £1.6billion bailout for grants and loans
  • Boris Johnson vows to safeguard Britain’s cultural industry from going under
  • But it is thought that concerts and festivals may have to wait until 2021 to restart 

Theatres, museums, galleries and other cultural ventures will get a £1.6billion bailout to stop them going under as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

Thousands of venues will be able to seek emergency grants and loans in what ministers say is the biggest ever one-off investment in UK arts.

With no live performances and more than 350,000 staff furloughed, the industry has warned that it will be devastated without cash aid. 

A man wearing a face mask is pictured above walking past the London Palladium. With no live performances and more than 350,000 staff furloughed, the industry has warned that it will be devastated without cash aid

Boris Johnson has promised to set out a timetable this week for when mass events can resume, but it is thought theatres, concerts and festivals may have to wait until 2021 to restart.

‘The UK’s cultural industry is the beating heart of this country,’ he said. 

‘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.’

Thousands of venues will be able to seek emergency grants and loans in what ministers say is the biggest ever one-off investment in UK arts

Decisions on sharing out the bailout money will be made by bodies such as the British Film Institute, Arts Council England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England.

Last week 1,500 artists including Sir Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones and Ed Sheeran (pictured above) wrote to the Government warning that the music industry faces a bleak future without more aid

Venues will be able to apply for £880million in grants and £270million in loans. 

There will be £100million targeted at museums, galleries and heritage sites, £120million to restart infrastructure projects and extra money for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said: ‘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.’

Last week 1,500 artists including Sir Paul McCartney, The Rolling Stones and Ed Sheeran wrote to the Government warning that the music industry faces a bleak future without more aid.

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