I very much regret the impact that coronavirus has had on performing arts in our country, and I look forward to when our treasured cultural sector can make a full return. With that in mind, I am delighted with the Road Map for reopening society which includes provisions for the return of large events and performances. For further information on the Road Map, please search: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-response-spring-2021.
I warmly welcome the Culture Recovery Fund which has and will continue to help Britain’s globally renowned arts, culture and heritage industries weather the impact of coronavirus. Originally worth £1.65billion, the recent Budget included provisions for a further £300million investment. More than £1billion of the fund has now been allocated, with the Culture Secretary also recently announcing that more than £18million had now been awarded in final grants from the first round of Culture Recovery Fund. This means that around 3,800 organisations have benefitted from the fund, supporting more than 75,000 jobs, with many more freelancers and jobs in vital supply chain industries also profiting.
This package builds on earlier support measures, including a £160 million emergency response package announced by Arts Council England in March. Further details can be found on the Arts Council’s website (https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19).
Finally, I know the Secretary of State, Ministers and DCMS officials continue to consult the creative and cultural sectors extensively to ensure they understand fully the potential impacts of the Covid-19 outbreak on the sector.
I of course remain supportive of local arts centres and happy to support funding applications made, as and when I am made aware by the applicant.