More than £250 million will be injected into the UK’s struggling arts sector as the Government tries to save theatres, museums and venues from going bust.
Liverpool’s Cavern Club, Bristol’s Old Vic theatre and the London Symphony Orchestra are among over 1,300 organisations that will receive up to £1 million each.
The funding is intended to help venues reopen and save thousands of jobs, while creating opportunities for freelancers.
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said the cash lifeline will protect these ‘special places’ that ‘form the soul of our nation’.
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The Cavern Club – which is a replica of the original that helped launch The Beatles – is currently closed down due to increasing coronavirus transmission rates in Liverpool.
Other venues in line for a boost include Beamish Living Museum in County Durham, the Northcott Theatre in Exeter and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield.
Arts Council England chairman Sir Nicholas Serota said: ‘Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages.
‘This is a difficult time for us all, but this first round of funding from the Culture Recovery Fund will help sustain hundreds of cultural spaces and organisations that are loved and admired by local communities and international audiences.’
Mr Dowden added: ‘This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation.
‘It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.
‘These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country – from the Beamish museum in County Durham to the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Bristol Old Vic.’
The announcement comes after Rishi Sunak was accused of an ‘incredibly insulting’ attitude towards the arts by frustrated workers currently unable to earn an income.
The Chancellor was criticised last week when, during an interview about the effect of the pandemic on people working in the arts, he spoke about the need to ‘adapt’ and suggested there would be ‘fresh and new opportunities’ available for those who could not do their old jobs.
But Mr Sunak has denied he was suggesting people in the struggling creative industries should retrain and find other jobs after coronavirus left them unable to work.
According to Arts Council England, the arts and culture industry contributes more than £10 billion a year to the UK economy, with £3 spent on food, drink, accommodation and travel for every £1 spent on theatre tickets.
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