Leisure: Coronavirus

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 12th June 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Doocey Baroness Doocey Chair, Finance Committee (Lords), Chair, Finance Committee (Lords)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what targeted, support they are making available to leisure centres, museums, parks and libraries both during and beyond the lockdown.

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

Organisations in the leisure and recreation sector have benefitted from the unprecedented Government support for business and workers. We know that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, in particular, has been a lifeline for these sectors, protecting jobs while organisations are closed.

In general, it is expected that publicly funded bodies such as leisure centres and parks, including companies (public enterprises), will not need to access the various different government support schemes. Other organisations such as charitable libraries, leisure centres, and museums, may be able to 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; the Small Business Grant Fund, which provides £10,000 for all business in receipt of small business rate relief or rural rate relief; the Discretionary Grant Fund for Local Authorities in England to make grants payments to businesses not eligible for the above schemes; the Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme; VAT deferral for up to 12 months; the Time To Pay scheme; and protection for commercial leaseholders against automatic forfeiture for non-payment until June 30, 2020.

There is also sector-specific support. For example, museums have had access to over £200 million of support from Arts Council England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund, and Historic England.

The Government continues to monitor the impact of these and other measures.

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