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Petition Support the four pillar plan for recovery in the performing arts & entertainment

Government must implement the 4 pillar plan for recovery in the performing arts & entertainment:
1 Workforce Protection: financial help for all creative workers
2 Safe Opening: including ticketing subsidies
3 Protecting Infrastructure: beyond the mainstream arts
4 Equality: no one left behind

More details

Creative workers, in their tens of thousands, lobbied for, and welcomed, the Government’s rescue package for the arts but it is becoming increasingly clear that the £1.57bn promised may not directly help them.
Re-opening the sector is not enough. The reality of the phased return to work is that work opportunities will remain severely limited for tens of thousands of self-employed creatives.
The performing arts and entertainment cannot recover without investment in both workplaces and workers.

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Government responded

This response was given on 27 August 2020

Government has announced unprecedented financial support for cultural organisations & workers. We are continuously working to provide effective, fair, & safe guidance for the reopening of the sector.

Read the response in full

The Government recognises the huge contribution the arts and cultural sector makes, not only to the economy and international reputation of the United Kingdom, but also to the wellbeing and enrichment of its people.

We appreciate this is an incredibly challenging time and that there are many cultural organisations and professionals who are currently facing difficult and uncertain circumstances.

To help protect cultural organisations and creative workers on 5 July, the government announced a major £1.57 billion support package for cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic.

These funds will protect cultural assets of international, national and local importance, including supporting the levelling up agenda by preventing the loss of valuable cultural fabric from our towns and regions.

The Fund will cover charitable and private organisations of all sizes in the arts, museums, heritage sectors as well as music venues, festivals and independent cinemas. As a result of these grants and loans, organisations will be more able to resume cultural activity, albeit in a socially distanced way, which will help to protect existing workforces and increase employment opportunities for freelancers.

One of our core objectives for this funding is to support the cultural organisations that are crucial to places across the whole country. We will ensure that funding is distributed fairly, and that smaller organisations and cultural venues that are at the centre of their communities are protected. As well as creating jobs, investment in these kinds of projects have positive benefits for local communities, attracting inward investment and visitors that in turn help to create jobs and economic benefits.

This package will provide a lifeline to thousands of organisations from regional theatres to leading orchestras and our national and local museums and galleries. The Government expects that this funding will provide a catalysis for additional philanthropic and community support for the nation’s cultural organisations.

On 29 July, the government announced further details and launched the application process for the Grants programme for the Cultural Recovery Fund.

Arts Council England (ACE), British Film Institute (BFI), Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund will be considering applications for grant funding against agreed criteria, as set out in the published guidance on their websites.

Key organisations in England will be able to apply for grants or loans, with loans being offered on generous terms, with low rates, an up-front repayment holiday, and long payback period. In order to receive support, organisations must demonstrate that they are at risk in this financial year and have done all they can to exhaust other options. We will be prioritising institutions of national and international significance and those crucial to levelling up places, communities, and economic growth across the country.

To complement the funding for organisations made available by Government, ACE have announced £95m of additional financial help for creative individuals, which can include freelancers. This involves:
○ An additional £75m in project grants. These will be focused on applications that maximise employment opportunities and those from under-represented groups. Freelancers are eligible to apply directly. National Portfolio Organisations can also apply to create new work with bids that create employment opportunities.
○ A further round of the ACE programme ‘Developing Your Creative Practice’ will open in the autumn. This will make approximately £18m available for individuals looking to develop new creative skills that will help them to further develop their career.
○ ACE will also add £2m into relevant benevolent funds to support those less well supported by the programmes outlined above, including stage managers and technicians.

This generous package will protect our arts, culture and heritage ecosystem, from the largest established organisations to smaller, newer, diverse-led and innovative organisations.

With regards to Equality, Arms Length Bodies making funding decisions will be looking for a track record of delivering social benefit and welcoming diverse audiences. Organisations in receipt of funding will be expected to demonstrate progress in diversity and outreach over the coming years in return for this investment into their futures.

£120 million of capital investment was also announced as part of the Culture Recovery support package to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England which was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic. This will help to protect cultural infrastructure across the country. Details of this capital investment has been published by Historic England and ACE.

On 9 July we published guidance for people who work in performing arts, including arts organisations, venue operators and participants which will help people understand how they can work and take part in the performing arts safely, and keep their audiences safe.

The guidance, which can be found here (https://www.gov.uk/guidance/working-safely-during-coronavirus-covid-19/performing-arts), follows the government’s five-stage roadmap outlining how we will get audiences back into performing arts venues. From 11 July we have been able enjoy performances outdoors with social distancing and since 15 August, we are at Stage Four of this roadmap. This means that indoor theatres, music and performance venues will be able to reopen with socially distanced audiences under updated performing arts guidance published by the Government.

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

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