10th Aug, 2020

MP welcomes £1.57billion rescue package for arts and heritage venues

A DEDICATED £1.57billion rescue package from the Government for arts and heritage venues will safeguard the long-term future of and music venues – that’s the view of Mid Worcestershire MP Nigel Huddleston.

Mr Huddleston, who is also the minister responsible for heritage, said he knew how hard they had been hit by the Coronavirus lockdown and consequential drop in visitor numbers.

He added, along with business rate holidays and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, arts and culture organisations would now be able to access £800million in emergency grants and £270million in loans.

“This package of support is good news for our arts and heritage in Worcestershire and across the country.

“Arts, culture and heritage are the soul of our nation and it is important that we sustain them for future generations to enjoy.

“I’m glad they are receiving the recognition and support they need and I look forward to continuing to work closely with them as we work towards a phased reopening of these sectors.

“This funding can be used to restart projects that have been paused for the duration of the pandemic, and can be used to help support employment, including freelancers working in these sectors.”

Announcing the funding pot Prime Minister Boris Johnson 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 and curtains remain down.”

It is not yet known when concert venues, theatres and music halls will be able to be used to full capacity which means the negative impact of the virus will continue.

For heritage sites, £100million has been dedicated as targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust, and £120million will restart construction on cultural infrastructure.

The awards will be distributed by respected independent bodies such as Arts Council England, Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund.

Further details will be set out when the scheme opens for applications in the coming weeks.

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