Arts, Culture and Heritage: Support Package

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:37 pm on 7th July 2020.

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Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State 1:37 pm, 7th July 2020

I am sure that the hon. Gentleman also meant to welcome the £57 million that will be going to Scotland via the Barnett formula but incidentally forgot to do so. He is right to mention freelancers who are not swept up in the self-employment income support scheme. We have been working tirelessly over recent weeks and months with the sector to understand what enables people to fall through the gap and what more we can do to support them. As a result of these grants and loans, organisations will be able to resume cultural activity, albeit in a socially distanced way, which will increase employment opportunity for freelancers—at the end of the day, that is what they want more than anything: to be able to get back to work. There is also £120 million of funding for capital projects, which will enable projects that have been paused to resume and all the different craftsmen and specialist heritage construction workers to be employed. This package complements the announcement made last week by the Arts Council that it will reopen its project grants competition and make £59 million of funding available to support creativity, in particular from freelancers. We must not forget that, of the £215 million that the Government have already pledged to this through the emergency support package, £160 million was from Arts Council England, of which £20 million has gone to individuals, including freelancers.