The Sun

£1.6billion bailout announced to save arts industry from COVID-19 collapse

The arts industry has been given a lifeline to save it from near collapse after the government announced a £1.6 billion billion package to keep firms from going bust. The coronavirus crisis has heavily impacted the sector, with many venues such as the Nuffield Theatre in Southampton facing permanent closure as social distancing means it is impossible to fill all seats.

The government has announced emergency funds to keep businesses afloat in the form of loans and grants to cultural venues under threat of closure. With the COVID-19 pandemic continuing to pose a risk of a second wave of cases, officials are unlikely to allow live performance theatres, festivals or music concerts to open until 2021. Since the lockdown began in March more than 350,000 employees in the arts sector have been furloughed. Companies who are eligible for these funds include theatres, performance arts and live music venues, historic palaces, museums, art galleries, and independent cinemas. The money is designed to help firms cover wage costs, including those of freelancers.

Read more: Boris Johnson pledges £1.6BILLION to save live music venues and theatres from closure -

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