Government releases more details on the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced more details around the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, including guidance so organisations know how to access the help. The first £622 million of funding will now be distributed.
Arts Council England will oversee £500 million to support institutions across the arts and cultural sector including theatres, music and comedy venues and museums. Grants up to £3 million will protect important cultural assets and ensure heritage continues to play a central role in levelling up the country. Furthermore, a new independent Culture Recovery Board will be chaired by Sir Damon Buffini to help administer the programme, advising on the largest grant as well as deciding who will receive parts of the £270 million repayable finance element of the recovery fund. Sir Damon Buffini is a British businessman, formerly the head of the private equity company Permira. In 2012 Buffini was appointed to the board of governors at The Wellcome Trust, a research charity based in London.
Government announce new £500 million Film and TV Production Restart Scheme
The government also announced a new UK-wide £500 million Film and TV Production Restart Scheme. The scheme will help to get TV and film productions across the country that have been halted or delayed by a lack of insurance to get back to operating. It will fill the gap left by the lack of available insurance and cover COVID-19 related losses for cast member and crew illnesses and filming delays or disruptions caused by the ongoing battle against COVID-19. The funding is available to all productions made by companies where at least half of the production budget is spent in the UK, and is estimated to cover more than 70 per cent of the film and TV production market to the end of the year.
Leading names in the entertainment industry create new fund to support theatre professionals
The likes of Daniel Radcliffe, Gillian Anderson, Meera Syal and James Corden have pledged donations to a new fund aimed at supporting theatre professionals whose livelihoods have be threatened by COVID-19. Named the Theatre Community Fund, it has launched with a £1 million pledge from its founder donors. According to a statement, it “aims to help ease economic strain both immediately and in the long-term.” Furthermore, it says “The Theatre Community Fund reflects its donors’ recognition that they have benefitted a great deal personally from the health of the UK theatre, and is a statement of their belief that UK theatre – nationally for all audiences and voices and down its grass roots – is vital to the strength of our nation.”
The fund will be split into two streams: one to assist freelancers by providing hardship grants for those in immediate need, and the other to “ensure a health future for the industry by providing innovation and creation grants” for artists to produce work.
Coronavirus and the Government’s emergency measures
Amid fears of a second COVID-19 wave, Chief Medical Officers across all UK nations has announced that those showing coronavirus symptoms must self-isolate for 10 days. The increase from 7 to 10 days is to help prevent the surge of cases seen in some parts of Europe and contain infection numbers ahead of a potentially difficult winter. The changes were introduced as data from the Office for National Statistics published a grim picture of the toll the disease had taken in England; it had “the longest continuous period of excess mortality of any country compared, resulting in England having the highest levels of excess mortality in Europe for the period as a whole”.