Historic Buildings and Museums and Galleries: Coronavirus

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 15th March 2021.

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Photo of Baroness Benjamin Baroness Benjamin Liberal Democrat

To ask Her Majesty's Government what consideration they have given to the impact of the loss of business during (1) Easter, (2) other school holidays, and (3) May, on museums, galleries and heritage buildings.

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

The Department has been working closely with stakeholders across museums, galleries and heritage sites throughout the pandemic, and do not underestimate the significant impact that the closure - and subsequent loss of visitors and in-person access - has had.

In the roadmap laid out by the Prime Minister, outdoor activity has been prioritised because the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission is substantially lower in the open air than indoors. From 29th March, groups of six, or two households will be able to meet outside and socialise outdoors at heritage sites, with seasonal offers including Easter walking trails.

In the Budget,the Chancellor announced extensions to measures which have supported museums, galleries and heritage sites throughout the pandemic. These include extending the COVID Job Retention Scheme and Self Employment Income Support Scheme until September 2021; hospitality VAT set at 5% until July 2021; and a new programme of business loans.

Building on the £100m awarded to DCMS-Sponsored Arm’s Length Bodies, (including national museums and galleries) in 20-21, the government will now provide an additional £90m to mitigate the financial impacts of Covid-19.

We have made a record investment in cultural and creative sectors, including museums, galleries and heritage buildings - nearly £2 billion (including additional support for the Culture Recovery Fund and £500 million on the Film and TV Restart scheme). These are unprecedented sums.

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