There is no doubt that the COVID-19 outbreak has had an immeasurable effect on the worldwide Arts industry and it would seem that the UK’s prayers have finally been answered. It has been announced that Boris Johnson has made the decision to throw the Arts a lifeline with an unbelievable amount of funds.
When this situation was still in its infancy Germany was again at the forefront in recognising the importance of artists and as such rolled out a £50bn package to help support those affected. Now, more than 3 months later and after much support from all corners of the UK’s Arts community, the UK Government has decided to intervene with a proposed amount of £1.5bn worth of funds.
This will break down to a £1.15bn support pot for cultural organisations in England, consisting of £270m in loans and £880m in grants and £100m of targeted support for England’s national cultural institutions and English Heritage. As well as this £120m of capital investment will be made available to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England that have been paused because of the pandemic.
With England receiving the majority of the pot, extra money will also be available for devolved administrations, with £97m for Scotland, £59m for Wales, and £33m for Northern Ireland. It is not clear at this point how this will be distributed throughout the music industry, but by all accounts, the sheer amount of funds made available eclipses the amount of £50m required to keep much of the arts afloat during these torrid times. While this is in no way a cure-all fix for the live music scene in the UK this is a definite glimmer of hope from a government that appeared to be ignoring the pleas of the music industry.