Arts: Coronavirus

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 14th May 2020.

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Photo of Lord Crathorne Lord Crathorne Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what plans they have, if any, to help (1) artists, and (2) self-employed people working in the creative industries, to recoup costs incurred in the production of projects now cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

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

We know that the Covid-19 pandemic presents a significant challenge to many of DCMS’ sectors including the arts and creative industries. That is why the Government has announced unprecedented support for businesses and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme; £330 billion worth of government-backed and guaranteed loans to support businesses and a Self-Employed Income Support Scheme. Most recently, we have introduced the Coronavirus bounce back loan, to help small and medium-sized businesses, many of which are situated in the creative industries sector, to borrow between £2,000 and £50,000. The government will guarantee 100% of the loan and there won’t be any fees or interest to pay for the first 12 months in order to help businesses in their recovery. We continue to work closely with our partners across the creative industries and arts to understand the impact of Covid-19 on their activities and provide the necessary support.

DCMS has also worked closely with Arts Council England to provide a tailored package of financial support to those within the Arts sector. In March, Arts Council England announced a £160m emergency response package to complement the financial measures already announced by the Government and support the resilience of this vital sector. This funding package will support organisations and individuals who need the most support to see them through this crisis. More details can be found on the Arts Council’s website (https://www.artscouncil.org.uk/covid19).

Those artists who own a Theatrical Production Company may be eligible to recoup costs via the Theatre Tax Relief, more details can be found through HMRC guidance (https://www.gov.uk/hmrc-internal-manuals/theatre-tax-relief).

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