UK Government release further details about £1.57billion package

Posted on 14 August 2020

The calls for further details surrounding the UK Government’s £1.57billion emergency funding package has finally been answered but have needs been met? More guidance has been revealed including repayable loans which won’t be released until December.

How will the repayable loan scheme work?

The Arts Council England has created a new scheme of repayable loans in order to help larger organisations. There will be funding in excess of £3million per application, and it won’t have an upper limit to the fund. As with all loans the money will need to be given back, and there will be a payment term of up to 20 years (this will include an initial repayment holiday of up to four years) and will have a two per cent interest rate per annum.

ACE will oversee the process as well as third party financial advisors who will carry out rigorous financial of assessments of applications. Applications will close on 9 September and funding will be released in December.

Further details about the £120million funding

The funding for capital projects has also had further details released. The Programmes of Major Works grant will have around £34million available. This will allow for vital upgrading of important heritage tourist attractions. There will also be a £5million fund for existing projects that need urgent support.

How will these new schemes help the arts and culture sector?

Unfortunately, the emergency funding that the UK Government have announced, which was initially late to begin with, is really taking the “emergency” out of the equation. Now that larger organisations will have to wait until December for assistance (which they will have to pay back anyway), it’s all becoming too late. Many companies have already had to make huge staff redundancies and have said they might not make it to the end of the year without immediate assistance. Meanwhile, a number of pantomimes have already had to cancel/postpone their season due to the government only announcing last night that indoor performances will be allowed with social distancing from tomorrow.

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By Jade Ali

A love for theatre stemmed from my love of literature and music, but the West End on my doorstep opened up a whole new appreciation and passion for all things stage-y