Clubs and venues respond to UK's £1.57 billion pandemic package for the arts

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  • We spoke to The Cause, Wire, the Barbican Centre, Platform 18 and more.
  • Clubs and venues respond to UK's £1.57 billion pandemic package for the arts image
  • This week, the UK government announced a new coronavirus pandemic support package for the arts, culture and heritage industries. Details of the package are still unclear, but of the £1.57 billion in this "one-off investment in UK culture," £880 million has been dedicated for grants, while £270 million is available for loans. It's also unknown which cultural areas and institutions are eligible to access the funds. The UK's relief plan comes after many other countries, including Germany, Australia and New Zealand, introduced extended support packages for their cultural sectors. We asked UK's cultural centres, venues, promoters, record shops and more for their reaction to the new government package. Wire, Leeds "This support package will be very welcome for everyone in the UK's arts and culture sector, but the devil will obviously be in the detail on how this package will be divided and how the application process is going to work. Let's hope that it will be distributed fairly and quickly, so it allows as many venues and performers to survive what is without doubt the most difficult time any of us in the industry have ever faced." Barbican Centre, London "The government's £1.57 billion investment in protecting our arts, culture and heritage is a hugely welcome and necessary move. Our venue's success is dependent on the health of the arts in the UK as a whole, so this funding needs to go far and wide to support the organisations, grassroots venues, artists and freelancers that make our sector what it is. There are still challenges ahead, but this investment is a big step in ensuring our arts and creative industries can play the greatest possible role in our collective recovery." Rye Wax, London "Ten years of austerity have absolutely decimated the arts through systematic cuts to councils that have had to severely reduce funding to 'non-essential' areas (i.e the very same theatres, museums and venues listed above) to facilitate growing costs of social care. When around £400 million has been taken away from the arts, it's obvious this new package is a cure for a self-inflicted wound, COVID-19 or not. I can only imagine, considering the catch-all appearance of this package, that our club world may have to work harder to get a smaller piece of the grant pie, expected to do more with less. We cannot pretend that this government sees all the arts as equal, let's not see this as anything other than a frankly mandatory injection of capital from the government that has been announced sadly around three months too late for a lot of institutions. Fuck the Tories." Platform 18, Glasgow "Here at Platform 18 we're delighted to hear about the arts and culture package government announcement from Sunday evening. We have had to dig into reserve funds to create a unique livestream experience to keep our followers engaged and interested in our postponed festival in 2021... The extra support from the government will help keep us afloat and ticking over till next year! A special mention needs to go to the the DJs, friends and family who have all stuck by us and supported us through these challenge times. See you all next year under the bridge." The Cause, London "It's a nice move in the right direction, but we're going to have to wait and see what the detail is. As always there will be gaps, but hopefully this has been thought through. The main problem is still social distancing. It's not human nature, and most spaces can't operate effectively with it." Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) "The announcement by the Department of Digital, Culture, Media And Sport and HM Treasury to invest £1.57 billion in our world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions, including music Vvenues has been commended by the NTIA and the wider creative sector. This is an unprecedented commitment from the government and long-awaited financial support which reflects the importance of the sector to the UK and internationally. With many neighbouring European countries investing heavily in the culture and arts sector, the UK government had been under mounting pressure to mimic the actions of their international counterparts. We will await further details of the announcement in the coming days to gain a greater understanding of the businesses which will benefit from this investment. We hope it will also include recorded music venues and the vital supply chain businesses which are fundamental to the creative and cultural sector, of which the night-time economy businesses are very much a big part of. We also look forward to receiving updated guidance and a further support package from the Chancellor this week with regard to the phased return of the night-time economy sectors." Photo credit: The Cause