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The government has confirmed that festivals are eligible for the £1.57bn cultural emergency fund.

A £500m fund is being made available from Arts Council England to cultural organisations across England, with grants ranging between £50,000 and £3 million.

The first round of grant applications will begin at 1pm on 10 August. The deadline for this first round will be 12pm on 21 August. A second round of applications will begin at 4pm on 21 August, closing at 12pm on 4 September.

Those applying must be registered at Companies House and/or Charity Commission, and able to produce at least one year’s full independently certified or audited financial statements. Local Authorities, Universities and other public sector bodies which run or maintain cultural services can also apply.

Further information about how to apply can be found on the Arts Council England website here.

The news comes after the Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) called for urgent clarity on whether festivals would be eligible for the emergency fund. The AIF submitted a report to DCMS highlighting festival’s estimated £1.75bn gross value added for the UK each year, and highlighting the 85,000 jobs which the sector supports.

AIF CEO Paul Reed (pictured) said: “While the effectiveness of this emergency fund in helping our sector through the pandemic will be determined by exactly how it is allocated, we are cautiously optimistic about this update, which makes the eligibility of festivals explicit.

“We understand that, thanks to contributions from our members illustrating their current predicament, DCMS officials were able to make significant representations for festival inclusion and we’re very thankful for that support.

“Festivals across the UK are undoubtedly ‘crown jewels’, both culturally and economically, in the local areas they serve and the nation as a whole. Supporting the sector until next year will also kick-start other parts of the supply chain. Survival, and a healthy festival market in 2021, will result in artists being booked, sites and stages being built and money being spent by the public.”