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COVID-19: UK plans$2b creative industry bailout

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THE British government has moved to spend about $2 billion to help theatres, art galleries and other cultural institutions survive the coronavirus crisis.
The British arts and culture sector currently faces uncertain future with live performances still off the cards for now due to ongoing social distancing rules.


A fund of 1.57 billion pounds (approximately $1.96 billion, 1.73 billion euros) is said to be required to help revive museums and historic palaces as well as companies involved in live music and independent cinema.
According to government release yesterday, “the money, which represents the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture, will provide a lifeline to vital cultural and heritage organisations across the country hit hard by the pandemic.”


Sources say, the announcement came on the heels of last week’s calls from some 1,500 acts including Ed Sheeran and The Rolling Stones for authorities to save the country’s live music industry from collapse.
The nation’s arts and culture sector employs 700,000 people, according to the government statement.


In May, Shakespeare’s Globe warned that it could close emergency funds fail to come their way.
“This news is truly welcome at a time when so many theatres, orchestras, entertainment venues and other arts organisations face such a bleak future,” Andrew Lloyd Webber said.
“It is absolutely critical that Britain’s cultural sector is restored to health as soon as possible.”


The proposed intervention fund also got London Symphony Orchestra Director, Simon Rattle’s nod.
“We hope it will be distributed as fast as possible… as so many institutions and individual artists have been staring into the abyss,” he said.


England lifted a number of virus restrictions on the weekend, allowing cinemas, galleries, museums and libraries to welcome the public again after three months — though fears remain of COVID-19 resurgence.
It will be recalled that UK remains one of the countries in Europe to suffer heavy casualties of the pandemic.

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