Burnley MP hails record-breaking package of support for UK arts and culture sector

Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham has hailed the government's £1.57 billion rescue package for the arts, culture and heritage industries as a "vital lifeline".
Burnley MP Antony HigginbothamBurnley MP Antony Higginbotham
Burnley MP Antony Higginbotham

Britain’s globally renowned arts, culture and heritage industries will receive a world-leading £1.57 billion rescue package to help weather the impact of coronavirus, the government have announced.

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 be able to access emergency grants and loans.

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The money, which represents the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture, will provide a lifeline to vital cultural and heritage organisations across the country hit hard by the pandemic.

It will help them stay afloat while their doors are closed. Funding to restart paused projects will also help support employment, including freelancers working in these sectors.

Mr Higginbotham said: “Today’s announcement is fantastic news for Burnley and will provide a vital lifeline to cultural and arts institutions across Lancashire.

"This will not only secure local jobs, but mean iconic venues like Towneley Hall or the Mechanics can weather the storm created by coronavirus and come back stronger, and continue to be there for local residents and future generations to enjoy.”

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Many of Britain’s cultural and heritage institutions have already received unprecedented financial assistance to see them through the pandemic including loans, business rate holidays and participation in the coronavirus job retention scheme. More than 350,000 people in the recreation and leisure sector have been furloughed since the pandemic began.

This new package will be available across the country and ensure the future of these multi billion-pound industries are secured.

Oliver Dowden Culture Secretary said: “Our arts and culture are the soul of our nation. They make our country great and are the linchpin 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."