After months of warnings about the looming ‘cultural catastrophe’ the country was facing as cultural, arts and heritage institutions battled for their survival, the £1.57bn support package announced by the Government is the first step towards restoring Britain’s cultural sector back to health.
For the creative and cultural sectors, the Covid-19 crisis has been catastrophic. As the country went into lockdown, venues closed and productions were called off, leaving many people in the industry without employment.
Whilst this long-awaited rescue package is a welcome lifeline many organisations have been calling for, it is now crucial for the Government to provide details on the allocation and investment of the funds to ensure this funding reaches organisations and artists most in need of immediate support.
Councillor Darryl Smalley, Executive Member for Culture, Leisure and Communities at City of York Council commented:
“This announcement is a welcome and much-needed lifeline for the creative, cultural and arts industries, which have been devastated by the ongoing crisis.
“It’s been amazing to see the innovative ways in which theatres, performers and artists across the sector have adapted and brought their outstanding performances on to the digital stage. However, it’s clear that the impact of this crisis has been devastating on the industry. We have continued to lobby the Government, and work with representatives from York’s cultural and creative sectors to provide as much support locally as possible, for example through the micro grant scheme and recovery strategies.
“In order to protect the future of York’s museums, galleries, theatres, creatives and music venues, it is crucial the Government acts quickly to provide detail on how these funds will be allocated so that artists and organisations most at risk and in need of assistance can receive the much-needed help they have been calling for.
“As ever the devil will be in the detail, but I hope that this £1.57bn is a commitment that the Government stick to. However, if this package really was world-leading as the Government suggest, it would have been in place two months ago. Ultimately, tough decisions have already been made by cultural, creative, heritage and music venues in York – this funding sadly won’t save the jobs that have already been lost due to Whitehall’s delay.
“The cultural, creative, arts and heritage sectors are the life-blood of our communities, and they will play a vital role in the nation’s social and economic recovery. York shouted loudly for this investment, and I look forward to working with York’s institutions to ensure we get our fair share of this funding.”