Arts: Coronavirus

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 26 March 2020.

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Photo of Lord German Lord German Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether arts organisations in receipt of public money will have to repay that money if they cannot meet the grant payment requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Photo of Baroness Barran Baroness Barran The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

The majority of Government funding for arts organisations and individuals is provided through our arm’s length body Arts Council England (ACE). From the funding received ACE provides grants to over 800 National Portfolio organisations (NPO’s) and funds 30 Creative People and Places projects across the UK. ACE operates independently of Government, which protects both ACE and DCMS from questions of any political involvement in arts funding decisions.

During the Covid 19 pandemic ACE will be relaxing its funding conditions for National Portfolio Organisations and Creative People and Places projects where necessary, and are currently talking to each of them about how this will work. Grant conditions will also be relaxed on existing National Lottery Project Grants where necessary, and ACE will be providing more information on its website.

These measures, in conjunction with the initiatives announced by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to support businesses and organisations that have been impacted by the pandemic, such as the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme and the deferral of VAT payments for the next 3 months, will provide organisations with more financial support during this period of uncertainty.

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