Maria welcomes record-breaking package of support for UK arts and culture sector

  • 1.57 billion announced by government to protect Britain’s world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions
  • Includes£900 million in grants plus additional £270 million in repayable loans
  • Unprecedented package widely hailed by the arts and creative industries

Thousands of organisations across a range of sectors, including the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema will benefit from access to emergency grants and loans, the Government has announced. The £1.57 billion package represents the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture and will provide a lifeline to vital cultural and heritage organisations across the country hit hard by the pandemic, ensuring they stay afloat and protecting multi-billion pound industries that are famous around the world for the future. This builds on the unprecedented financial assistance the Government has already provided to the UK’s cultural sector through the pandemic, with loans, business rates relief and furlough support. More than 350,000 people in the recreation and leisure sector have been furloughed since the pandemic began.

Maria welcomed the announcement: “This is much needed support that could provide a vital lifeline to cultural and arts institutions across Basingstoke and Hampshire.

“Not only securing local jobs but mean that local venues can weather the storm created by coronavirus and come back stronger and continue to be there for local residents and future generations to enjoy.”

Commenting, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson said, “From iconic theatre and musicals, mesmerising exhibitions at our world-class galleries to gigs performed in local basement venues, the UK’s cultural industry is the beating heart of this country.

“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”

Commenting, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said, “Our arts and culture are the soul of our nation. They make our country great and are the lynchpin of our world-beating and fast growing creative industries.“

I understand the grave challenges the arts face and we must protect and preserve all we can for future generations. Today we are announcing a huge support package of immediate funding to tackle the funding crisis they face. I said we would not let the arts down, and this massive investment shows our level of commitment.”

Commenting, Chancellor of the Exchequer 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 to safeguard their survival, helping to protect jobs and ensuring that they can continue to provide the sights and sounds that Britain is famous for.”