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UK government urges creative businesses to apply for COVID support

By | Published on Monday 10 August 2020

The government yesterday urged creative and cultural businesses across the UK to put in applications to the various sector-specific funds being made available to help those businesses weather the ongoing COVID-19 storm.

Those funds will spend some of the £1.57 billion of financial support that UK minsters committed to the creative and and heritage sectors last month. They include the £500 million Culture Recovery Fund being administered by Arts Council England, and a separate £30 million scheme supporting independent cinemas via the British Film Institute. Both ACE and the BFI will start accepting applications today.

Culture Minister Caroline Dinenage said yesterday: “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”, she added. “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”.

The music industry has previously welcomed the fact ACE is employing a very wide definition of ‘cultural organisation’ for this scheme, meaning many music companies that would not usually receive government funding will be eligible.

However, concerns remain that – while venues and events may get support – individual music-makers and freelance music industry workers, who can not directly apply, will not benefit. Meanwhile the other general COVID support schemes that many of those people have been relying on are set to wind down.