As the country's artistic community joins a national lockdown the Arts Council have announced a £160 million emergency response package to support individuals and organisations survive the COVID-19 crisis.
They have made £90 million available to National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs), £50 million for organisations outside of the National Portfolio and a further £20 million will be made available to creative practitioners and cultural workers
The much needed cash injection has come from reallocation of National Lottery Project Grants, Developing Your Creative Practice and Development Funds for the 2020-21 period. This package will use up almost all of their reserves.
The Arts Council have worked as quickly as they can to produce this emergency support driven by the evidence they heard from the sector of the immediate and serious financial impact on organisations and individuals.
The package was designed last week by a group of senior staff within the Arts Council informed by evidence collected from all parts of the sector since they became aware of the COVID-19 risk. The proposals they developed were tested with an external reference group made up of a cross-section of the publicly funded cultural sector, including creative practitioners, non-NPO, NPOs, and local authorities.
The Arts Council’s diversity team is reviewing the equality impact of the response package and feeding into the detailed work on the criteria, guidance and decision making process.
The Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has been kept informed of their decision making and they have secured the necessary permissions from them around management of public money.