1.300 venues to share UK government funding
The Cavern Club in Liverpool and the London Symphony Orchestra are among the 1,300 venues and organisations to receive a share of £257m government arts funding.

The Cavern, which hosted early gigs from The Beatles, has been given £525,000 to fund the recording of performances from local musicians, while Birmingham Royal Ballet will receive £500,000 to help off-set loss of earnings from performances and touring.

The London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) will get £846,000 to help begin a phased return to full-scale performance as Bristol’s Old Vic Theatre is set to receive £610,466 to help transform the business.

UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation. It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.”

The venues and organisations in receipt of the funding could apply for a maximum of £1m, with future releases of up to £3m going to larger organisations in the future.

Also set to receive grants in this tranche are the Halle Concerts Society in Manchester, The Brudenell in Leeds, and London’s Young Vic theatre.

UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin has welcomed the move, after an estimated 90 per cent of applications for funding to the Arts Council have been successful.

Njoku-Goodwin said: “This funding is fantastic news and will be a lifeline for so many music venues that have been struggling to survive since they first felt the impact of Covid-19 in March.

“It is a huge vote of confidence in the £5.2 billion UK music industry, and recognises that our industry will be a key part of the post-pandemic recovery.

“The music industry has worked hard to help itself and all those who depend on it to make a living, and shown incredible ingenuity in its fight to get back on its feet.

“This crucial Government investment in our cultural infrastructure will reap major dividends in the years ahead as we emerge from the pandemic. While the music industry will still need support to help it recover, particularly for the 72% of our sector who are self-employed, today is a hugely welcome first step.

According to Arts Council England (ACE), who will distribute the money, the arts and culture industry contributes more than £10bn a year to the UK economy.

Last week, ACE forecast a recovery for the arts and cultural sector a year earlier than originally predicted.

The sector has been devastated by the pandemic this year, however, new research commissioned from the Centre for Economic and Business Research indicates that the government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund will enable the sector to return to its pre-Covid value of £13.5bn by 2022, ACE says, with its GVA boosted by £1.4bn. It shows that by 2025 arts and culture could be worth £15.2bn.

ACE’s chair, Nicholas Serota, said: “These figures demonstrate that, beyond the value of the arts to the lives of people across the country, the cultural sector is an economic force in its own right, as well as an essential pipeline for talent and ideas into the wider creative industries – one of our fastest growing sectors before the pandemic.

“By investing through the Culture Recovery Fund the government is helping to protect the sector, ensuring that it can bounce back more quickly and play a vital role in the national recovery as we emerge from the pandemic.”