The British Government on Monday pledged 1.5 billion pounds (1.9 billion dollars) to help venues crippled by the coronavirus pandemic.
The government said the scheme will allow thousands of organisations across the performing arts, heritage, historic buildings, museums, galleries and live music venues to access emergency grants and loans.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson noted that from iconic theatre and musicals, mesmerising exhibitions at the country’s world-class galleries to gigs performed in local basement venues, the UK’s cultural industry was the heart beat of the country.
“This money will help safeguard the sector for future generations, ensuring arts groups and venues across the UK can stay afloat,” he said.
Arts directors have welcomed the pledge, but Actors’ Union Equity, which represents about 48,000 people, said it was unclear how the scheme would support many freelance and self-employed creative workers the UK arts infrastructure depended on.
According to Chief Executive of London’s Southbank Centre, Elaine Bedell, the package will go a long way in safeguarding the future of the orchestras as well as all the associate artists and creative partners.
The joint Chief Executives of the National Theatre, Rufus Norris and Lisa Burger, said they felt very positive that the investment would reach and sustain the vital talent and infrastructure, which make British theatre truly world-class.
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