Sunak adds £30m to culture recovery fund as emergency bail-out for the arts

Arts organisations hit by the Omicron Covid-19 variant are to get help from a £30m addition to the culture recovery fund (CRF), Chancellor Rishi Sunak said today.

It is part of a range of measures in a £1bn bail-out package, with £683m set aside for hospitality and leisure businesses, another £102m for businesses in most need and a resumption of the statutory sick pay scheme.

Meanwhile theatres and museums across the country are closing early before Christmas because of Covid infections in the workforces and cancelled bookings. In Scotland Hogmanay street parties have been cancelled, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has decreed.

The new fund was greeted with some relief by the creative sector, facing bleak returns in a period that is usually the most profitable of the year.

"While the new funding is most welcome it is now crucial that DCMS works with the theatre sector to ensure funds are targeted to the businesses and individuals that need it most, including those currently ineligible for the CRF” said a statement from UK Theatres and the Society of West End Theatre. “If the situation continues to escalate further assistance will be needed.  

“We are so grateful to all our audiences who continue to champion our theatres and help the industry survive, providing a lifeline to the countless talented performers and staff around the country working tirelessly to keep the curtain raised.”

 

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