Culture and Mass Media: Finance

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 21st May 2020.

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Photo of The Earl of Clancarty The Earl of Clancarty Crossbench

To ask Her Majesty's Government what assessment they have made of the financial support being provided to the cultural, creative and media sectors in Germany; what plans they have, if any, to introduce a specific financial support package for the cultural, creative and media sectors in the UK; and what representations they have received in relation to such support.

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

The Government has noted international responses to support the creative, cultural and media sectors. Direct comparisons are difficult, as the sectors and the measures taken are different in each country. We are considering international examples as we continue to work with arm’s-length bodies, sector representatives, and individual organisations to understand the impact of COVID-19 and what support is needed. DCMS Ministers are in regular touch with creative, cultural and media organisations through regular roundtable sessions, including the Recreation and Leisure Taskforce announced recently to coordinate safe reopening.

Germany has announced a significant package for the self-employed and small businesses. That includes those in the cultural sector, but is not limited to them. Similarly, the UK's support covers all sectors and the creative and cultural industries have benefited from unprecedented support for business and workers to protect them against the current economic emergency including almost £300 billion of guarantees – equivalent to 15% of UK GDP. The cultural, creative and media sectors can access a range of support measures including:

  • A 12-month business rates holiday for all eligible retail, leisure and hospitality businesses in England

  • The retail, hospitality and leisure grant fund (RHLGF)Small business grant funding (SBGF) of £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief 8 million jobs have now been furloughed with £11.1 billion claimed so far through the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS).

  • 2 million Self-employment Income Support (SEISS) claims have been submitted worth £6.1 billion.

  • Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS) has seen 40,564 loans worth £7.25 billion approved so far.

  • The Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CLBILS) has seen 86 approved loans totalling £0.59 billion.

  • Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBLS) has seen 464,393 approved loans so far worth £14.18 billion for small businesses.

  • VAT deferral for up to 12 months

  • The Time To Pay scheme, through which businesses in financial distress, and with outstanding tax liabilities, can receive support with their tax affairs

  • Protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until June 30, 2020

  • There were 4.2m people on Universal Credit on 9 April, with 1.5m claims made in the period 13 March 2020 to 9 April 2020.

The Business Support website provides further information about how businesses can access the support that has been made available, who is eligible, when the schemes open and how to apply - https://www.businesssupport.gov.uk/coronavirus-business-support.

Separately, the Arts Council England has made £160 million of emergency funding available specifically for the arts and culture sectors, and the National Lottery Heritage Fund £50 million to heritage and museums organisations, originally with grants of between £3,000 and £50,000 available and now with grants of £50,000 to £250,000.

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