The UK Government has said it will invest GBP1.57bn (€1.73bn) to help the arts sector survive COVID-19.
GBP270m will be available in loans, while GBP880m will be given as grants to English organisations. A further GBP188m has been set aside for organisations in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.
In a statement, the UK Government said that: “Repayable finance will be issued on generous terms tailored for cultural institutions to ensure they are affordable. Further details will be set out when the scheme opens for applications in the coming weeks.”
Special funding has also been earmarked for “national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust” to the tune of GBP100m. There will also be a GBP120m fund to restart cultural infrastructure projects.
A number of leading figures from the UK arts sector have praised the news.
“This significant investment demonstrates a dedication to humanity that gives us all hope during times of unimaginable uncertainty,” commented Nicola Benedetti.
Mark Cornell, group chief executive of Ambassador Theatre Group, remarked: “No doubt this will give institutions across the arts, culture and heritage sector a welcome shot of confidence.”
The UK Government will make funding decisions with the input from industry bodies including Arts Council England, Historic England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and the British Film Institute.