William Eichler 25 March 2020

Arts council announces £160m of ‘emergency funding’

Local government leaders have welcomed the announcement of a multi-million-pound injection of funding into the arts sector to support individuals and organisations during the coronavirus.

Arts Council England has said it is making £160m of ‘emergency funding’ available to ensure that artists, museums and libraries are protected during the pandemic.

Of this funding, £90m will go to National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs), that is, groups already funded by the council. Fifty million pounds will go to groups outside of the council’s portfolio, and £20m will provide support to individuals.

Responding to this announcement, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, chair of the Local Government Association’s (LGA) Culture, Tourism and Sport Board, said: ‘It is particularly positive that some of this funding will provide support to the freelancers and self-employed creative people who are vital to the health of our cultural sector, and who are largely unsupported by other measures announced to date.

‘Councils up and down the country are looking closely at how their own grant programmes, contracts and investments can be adapted and amended to support our local cultural organisations.’

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