Last week’s controversy prompted U.K. Chancellor Rishi Sunak to expand worker aid offered during the COVID-19 pandemic, and the government hasn’t stopped there. Arts Council England has distributed £257 million to 1,385 cultural institutions – delivering over half of the £500 million Culture Recovery Fund allocated in July.
As promised, numerous grants have been awarded to U.K. electronic music organizations. Among them are notable London venues like Ministry of Sound, Village Underground, and Corsica Studios as well as publications like Resident Advisor, The Ransom Note, and Crack Magazine. Roughly 75 times as much aid has been disbursed since the last time Arts Council England provided an update over a month ago.
All of the recipients thus far have been awarded grants in amounts of less than £1 million. Applications for larger amounts will be processed in a separate round of funding.
The relief arrives at a time when inaction by the U.K. government elicited harsh criticism from the nightlife community and beyond. Sunak’s comment during an ITV interview that workers must “retrain and find new jobs” drew the ire of rival politicians and artists alike, with owners of establishments already tense over recently imposed countrywide bar and nightclub curfews.
“The announcement of recipients of the Cultural Recovery Fund by the Arts Council, has been long awaited with many relying heavily on the outcome of this funding allocation for several weeks,” said Night Time Industries Association CEO Michael Kill in a statement.
“We have seen some success for businesses in live music, events, supply chain and some venues, but with very limited numbers of dance music clubs and events receiving funding and we hope the ones that have not been successful will be considered for further funding opportunities in the future,” he went on. “We have been aware all along that the fund would not be able to support everyone, and will leave many businesses who have missed out on this opportunity awaiting on a perilous cliff edge, which will result in further redundancies in the coming weeks. We need the Government to step up and support our sector.”
The full list of Culture Recovery Fund recipients thus far is available on the Arts Council England website.
Image credit: Josh Gordon