Oliver Dowden, the secretary of state for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport has confirmed the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF), which has provided grants to events operators and venues, will be increased by £300m from £1.57bn to £1.87bn in tomorrow’s Budget.
There will also be a further £90m from the chancellor to support museums and cultural bodies and nearly £20m for culture projects in regional towns and cities.
Downden said, “It’s such a relief we can look ahead now so this funding is not just about survival but for planning and preparing for the reopening of theatres, galleries and gigs.”
The CRF has supported around 3,000 arts organisations in England so far, including an array of venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, Southbank Centre and M&S Bank Arena, production suppliers including Brilliant Stages and festivals including Truck, Strawberries & Creem and Leicester Comedy.
Dowden also said Government will provide a further £300m for spectator sports taking place without fans this spring while it “work[s] towards roadmap dates for fans returning”.
It is understood English cricket will receive a “significant chunk” of the funding package, with tennis and horse racing also set to benefit.
Meanwhile, The Times reported that it has been told Government could offer grants to organisers if their events have to be cancelled because of coronavirus. It said ministers are considering whether to underwrite an insurance scheme for major festivals but the Treasury has concerns about the cost.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak (pictured) said, “Throughout the crisis we have done everything we can to support our world-renowned arts and cultural industries, and it’s only right that we continue to build on our historic package of support for the sector.
“This industry is a significant driver of economic activity, employing more than 700,000 people in jobs across the UK, and I am committed to ensuring the arts are equipped to captivate audiences in the months and years to come.”
UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin welcomed the news and said the CRF has provided a lifeline for the cultural sector during the pandemic: “Extending the CRF was a key element of our three-point plan to back British music and deliver a fantastic summer of live music.
“So, the chancellor deserves credit for listening to the music industry about continuing support until we can get back on our feet. These badly needed funds come at a crucial time and will be the difference between survival and going to the wall for many organisations.”