On the heels of last week’s #LetTheMusicPlay campaign, the U.K. government has announced a funding package for the arts. The £1.57 billion in relief will be allocated towards music venues, theaters, museums and galleries displaced by COVID-19.
In a surprise announcement, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson called the emergency aid the “biggest-ever one-off investment in U.K. culture” from the HM Treasury. £270m has been set aside for loans, and £880 million in grants will be available until April of 2021.
“From iconic theatre and musicals, mesmerizing exhibitions at our world-class galleries to gigs performed in local basement venues, the U.K.’s cultural industry is the beating heart of this country,” Johnson said. “This money will help safeguard the sector for future generations, ensuring arts groups and venues across the U.K. can stay afloat and support their staff whilst their doors remain closed and curtains remain down.”
#LetTheMusicPlay, which boasted signatories like Four Tet, Fatboy Slim and Black Coffee, was only the most recent U.K. campaign for music industry relief. The Music Venues Trust had been advocating for an initiative called #SaveOurVenues for months, not to mention surveys conducted by the likes of the Night Time Industries Association.
On Friday, Johnson had also promised to deliver a timetable for reopening for bars, nightclubs and other venues this week.
Image credit: Alexander Popov