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Theatre

Government announces £1.57bn support package for arts

The UK Government has announced an emergency cash fund worth £1.57bn to support the arts sector.

Many theatres, playhouses, concert halls and other venues have faced financial struggles due to the impacts of the Coronavirus pandemic and now, as lockdown restrictions are being eased, it still looks unlikely that large shows will be able to resume anytime in the near future.

In recent days and weeks, venues from across the industry have been calling on the government for support and more information about when live shows and performances may be able to resume.

Cinemas started to reopen in England this weekend, however, live performances have been considered too dangerous due to the difficulties presented in maintaining social distancing while performing.

The support funding announced on Sunday includes funding £880m of grant funding for cultural organisations in England and £270m of repayable finance. £100m of targeted support has been announced for the national cultural institutions and the English Heritage trust, while £120m capital investment has been announced to help the resumption of cultural infrastructure construction and heritage construction projects.

Outside of England, £188m worth of funding has been announced for the devolved administrations.

The news of the funding has generally been welcomed by cultural organisations in England, however, some have reiterated calls for detailed reopening plans for venues in the sector.

In some cities and regions, arts venues play a large part in supporting local economies.

Labour have welcomed the announcement of funding for the sector but said that for many, the funding is "too little too late".

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