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Museums and Galleries: Coronavirus

Treasury written question – answered on 18th May 2020.

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Photo of Shabana Mahmood Shabana Mahmood Labour, Birmingham, Ladywood

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer, what fiscal steps the Government is taking to help ensure the long-term financial sustainability of museums and art galleries in Birmingham as a result of the covid-19 outbreak.

Photo of Kemi Badenoch Kemi Badenoch The Exchequer Secretary

The Government has announced 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. Museums, galleries and other entities in the arts and heritage sector, can benefit from 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

· The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS)

· The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS)

· The Bounce Back Loan Scheme (BBL) for small and micro enterprises

· 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

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, and the National Lottery Heritage Fund £50million, with grants of between £3000 and £50,000 available through the latter.

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