General positives for Arts budget help

The latest Government budget help for the arts sector has gained a generally positive response — although there remains concern that self employed musicians are still losing out.

  There extra money announced for the Arts sector in England by the Chancellor

There has been a generally positive response to the latest announcements of help to the arts sector in the Chancellor of the Exchequer's Budget statement presented in Parliament this week.

However, despite a headline figure of £390 million to help arts venues such as theatres, museums and galleries and cultural bodies, there was still a great deal of disappointment that once again many self employed workers in the sector will not receive any help.

Details of what funding will be available to devolved arts organisations will be released later.

Financial help

Rishi Sunak announced that £300 million will be channelled into the existing Culture Recovery Fund in England with £90 million going to help national museums and cultural bodies.

One leading figure in the arts, Music Venue Trust boss Mark Davyd, said that the measures announced were "supportive of the next steps in the campaign to reopen every venue safely."

However he added: "This period does not resolve the long running debate on business rates, and we look forward to a full discussion of this outdated and anachronistic taxation in the Business Rates Review in Autumn 2021."

Look again

Greg Parmley, CEO of LIVE, the UK's official industry body for live music added that "warmly welcomed" the additional financial support, although he also urged the Chancellor to "look again at a government-backed insurance scheme which would ensure we can recover, and get people back to work as quickly as possible once it is safe to lift restrictions."

However less supportive of the news was the Musicians' Union which said that although they welcomed the extension to the self-employment income support scheme, that still believed that around 15% of musicians still feel through its gaps to claim support.

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