Arts Council England pledges £160m emergency fund
Wednesday, 25 March 2020
ace-blackwww.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19
UK - Arts Council England (ACE) has announced a £160m emergency response package to help cultural organisations, freelancers and individual artists survive the coronavirus crisis.
The money is intended to prevent artists and arts organisations from going into liquidation, but is also designed to help them come up with creative responses “to buoy the public” during the lockdown.
The package breaks down as £20m of funds for creative practitioners and freelancers, £50m for organisations not in the national portfolio, and £90m for the 828 organisations in the national portfolio, a category that ranges from small touring theatres to the National Theatre.
The money is coming from a combination of ACE’s emergency reserves and a suspension of national lottery project grants, normally a vital source of income for smaller organisations and individuals.
ACE chair, Sir Nicholas Serota, comments: “None of us can hope to weather this storm alone, but by working together in partnership, I believe we can emerge the stronger, with ideas shared, new ways of working, and new relationships forged at the local, national and even international level.”
ACE said that the financial crisis for the arts caused by the mass closure of venues and cancelled contracts was acute, with evidence showing it was “causing massive and unsustainable loss of revenues”. It said the emergency package was designed to complement the financial measures already announced by the government to help the wider economy.
Darren Henley, the chief executive of ACE, adds: “Right now, our number one priority is to do everything we can to help individual artists and cultural organisations to stay afloat. It’s going to be tough, but we need them to be in the best possible shape to use their creativity to benefit people’s lives in villages, towns and cities across England once our communities begin the process of recovering from this terrible virus.
“Already, I’ve seen artists and cultural organisations draw on their bottomless ingenuity and creativity to dream up ways to connect, comfort and uplift us as we face these uniquely challenging circumstances.”

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