Business of the House

Part of Prayers - [Mr Speaker in the Chair] – in the House of Commons at 9:33 am on 13th May 2021.

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Photo of Jacob Rees-Mogg Jacob Rees-Mogg Lord President of the Council and Leader of the House of Commons 9:33 am, 13th May 2021

I absolutely share my hon. Friend’s concern. It is a top priority that small businesses are the engine of our recovery. They are as much a part of our cultural heritage, especially in industrial cities such as Stoke, as any museum or concert hall. We have to date spent over £1.2 billion in financial support to more than 5,000 individual organisations and sites both large and small across the United Kingdom, including, I am glad to say, the Spode Museum Trust. My right hon. Friend the Chancellor of the Exchequer also announced in the 2021 Budget an additional £300 million of taxpayers’ money to support theatres, museums and other cultural organisations in England through the cultural recovery fund, together with other cultural support, such as funding for our national museums. This means that the total tax- payer package for culture during the pandemic is now approaching £2 billion, which is really an unprecedented sum.