Arts: Coronavirus

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 29th September 2020.

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Photo of Gareth Thomas Gareth Thomas Shadow Minister (International Trade)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what discussions he has had with the Chancellor of the Exchequer on (a) allocating capital grants to assist with the cost of (i) commercial rent, (ii) lease payments, (iii) insurance costs, (iv) business rates and (v) tax breaks, (b) longer mortgage holidays, (c) extending the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and (d) extending the Self-employed Income Support Scheme for the creative industries supply chain; and if he will make a statement.

Photo of Caroline Dinenage Caroline Dinenage Minister of State

Ministers meet regularly with their Ministerial colleagues to discuss a variety of issues.

On 5 July, the government announced a major £1.57 billion support package for cultural organisations to help them through the coronavirus pandemic. Alongside recovery grants, and a repayable finance option for the largest organisations, the package includes £120m of capital investment to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England which was paused due to Covid-19 pandemic.

The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme (CBILS), business rates relief, a reduction in VAT to 5% for tourism and hospitality firms for six months, and the Bounce Back Loan schemes in particular are providing support to organisations across the arts and creative industries sector.

Our world-beating creative industries are nothing without the people who work in them, and we are working hard to help provide financial support to freelancers in those sectors.

Arts Council England has made £95m available for individuals - which includes £75m in project grants to maximise employment opportunities, £18m in “Developing your Creative Practice” program, for individuals looking to develop new creative skills and £2m in benevolent funds to support the likes of stage managers and technicians.

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