Call for government to step in and ‘save our cultural landscape’

The chair of Parliament’s culture select committee has written to the culture secretary to demand urgent extra support for cultural institutions facing bankruptcy because of the coronavirus lockdown.

Julian Knight’s letter to Oliver Dowden follows evidence the committee has had from organisations such as the Donmar Warehouse, the Old Vic and Shakespeare’s Globe (above) which “lays bare the challenge facing the cultural sector”.

It highlights the plight of the Globe which is using the government’s furlough scheme but is not in receipt of subsidy and so cannot qualify for Arts Council England's emergency support Organisations such as the Royal Academy are in similar straits.

Theatres in particular are in danger, however, with the Theatres Trust warning of a wider knock-on effect. “This erosion of cultural infrastructure could have a long-lasting impact on access to the arts, careers in the creative sectors and the UK’s position as a world leader in this sector and as a major contributor to tourism” the trust said.

“The government must step up now and find more funding to shore up our cultural landscape and safeguard our rich past while giving hope to those whose livelihoods depend on it” Knight’s letter to Dowden says.

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