£97M for Scottish culture

July 6, 2020 | By | 1 Reply More

Scottish culture gets share of £1.57 billion support package

Scotland will get £97 million as a result of the Westminster government’s £1.57 billion investment to protect Britain’s cultural, arts and heritage institutions.

This is a separate package to the £10 million “lifeline for performing arts venues” announced by the Scottish Government at the first minister’s press briefing on Friday and will be additional to this previously announced funding.

The Lyceum which will be empty until 2021. Pic: Peter Dibdin

The UK package, announced on Sunday night and described by the Westminster government as “the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture”, will be aimed to help organisations hit by the Covid-19 pandemic to stay afloat while their doors are closed.

No details of how the emergency grants and loans will be allocated have been announced yet. But according to the UK Govt, they will be available to organisations “across a range of sectors including the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema”.

The £1.57 billion UK-wide funding will provide:
£1.15 billion for cultural organisations in England, made up of £270 million of repayable finance and £880 million grants.
£100 million of targeted support for the national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust.
£120 million to restart construction on cultural infrastructure and for heritage construction projects in England which was paused due to the coronavirus pandemic.
£188 million for the devolved administrations in Northern Ireland (£33 million), Scotland (£97 million) and Wales (£59 million).

The funding for the devolved administrations comes from the Barnett consequentials of the various grant elements of the funding for English organisations.

devolved administrations

It will be up to the devolved administrations to decide how to spend their share of the funding, although the English element is aimed across the whole spectrum of the cultural sector, so the Scottish element should do the same. 

Indeed, on Friday, Hyslop promised that if the UK government gave a support package to culture, the Scottish government would distribute its share of the Barnett consequentials to “help this vital part of our society but also our economy”.

Aside from how much will go to theatre, the big question is how – and whether – money will get delivered to those in the theatre industry who have already lost out.

Many freelance workers, who make up 72% of culture workers, were eligible for neither the furlough schemes, nor the Self Employed Income Support Scheme.

Full details of how the money will be administered had not been  announced as this story was published.

The next key question will be how and when theatres will once again be able to open their doors and stage performances.

ENDS

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  1. FM confirms £97m is for arts : All Edinburgh Theatre.com | July 6, 2020

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