Friday round-up: World news in brief 24/12/21
Welcome to IQ‘s weekly round-up of news from around the world. Here, in bite-sized chunks, we present a selection of international stories you may have missed from the last few days…
The UK government has doubled the emergency funding for arts, culture and heritage organisations made available through the Culture Recovery Fund to £60 million. The initial £30m top-up, unveiled earlier this week by chancellor Rishi Sunak as part of a £1 billion support package for hospitality and leisure businesses in response to the impact of the omicron variant, was criticised as “woefully inadequate” by live music trade bodies. The government is also extending the application window by a week until 18 January. “This new funding, alongside the new grants of up to £6,000 we announced earlier this week, will support the sector as we together face this difficult time,” says Sunak. The Music Venue Trust described the development as “very positive news”. “This second measure makes a real difference, providing grassroots music venues with time to submit,” it tweeted.
European Commission EVP Frans Timmermans will give the opening keynote speech at ESNS 2022. Timmermans, who is responsible for the Green Deal, will dive deeper into taking green steps going forward for the music industry. Other newly announced speakers include Mark Mulligan (MIDiA Research), Colin Benders (Kyteman), Pepijn Lanen (Faberyayo of De Jeugd van Tegenwoordig) Helen Smith (IMPALA), Marta Pallares (Primavera), Codruta Vulcu (ARTmania), Paul Reed (AIF), Christof Huber (Yourope) and Stephan Thanscheidt (FKP Scorpio). The event has moved entirely online from 19–22 January 2022 due to Covid-19. Due to the continued uncertainty, some of the panels and keynotes have been moved to ESNS 2023, including interviews with Sub Pop’s Pavitt & Poneman, Peter Weening (Vera), Matt Schwarz (DreamHaus) and André de Raaff, as well as the country focus on Spain.
ASM Global has appointed Nate Whitman as chief strategy officer. In his new role, Whitman will be tasked with developing new business opportunities, investments and strategic partnerships, as well as new initiatives to deliver revenue growth for the company’s clients. Whitman most recently served as head of strategy and finance for Pac-12’s media division.
Paloma Faith will headline the Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza concert on Saturday, 6 August, 2022. Also performing will be the Black Dyke Brass Band, with a further special guest still to be announced.
Madison Square Garden Entertainment MSG Entertainment has named seasoned executive David F Byrnes as EVP and CFO, effective January 24. Byrnes will work closely with MSG Entertainment’s executive management team to support the long-term direction of the company. He will provide strategic financial insight on all facets of the business and oversee the firm’s financial matters. MSG Entertainment’s current EVP and CFO, Mark H FitzPatrick, will remain with the company through April 1 to assist with the transition.
The Lunar Electric music festival, due to be held in Newcastle on 18 December, was cancelled under a public health order. NSW Health said the record number of Covid-19 cases in the region presented too great a risk for the festival to take place.
House of Vans Mexico City officially opened its doors with performances by Japanese Breakfast, Noa Sainz and Girl Ultra. Molotov and Hot Chip also played headline shows during its opening weekend. Located in Col. San Juan, House of Vans Mexico City is billed as “part skatepark, part music venue, part theatre, part art gallery”, and adds to the brand’s existing hubs in London, UK and Chicago in the US.
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Latest culture grants include £600k for Glasto
Glastonbury Festival is among hundreds of arts, heritage and cultural organisations across England to receive a share of £107 million from the latest round of the government’s Culture Recovery Fund.
The event, which has had to cancel its last two editions due to the pandemic, received £900,000 back in April and has now been awarded an extra £600,000.
It is the biggest beneficiary of the 24 music sector recipients from the additional £300m announced by the chancellor at March’s budget, Others to receive support include London Symphony Orchestra (£423,000), London’s Troubadour (£330,000), De Le Warr Pavilion (£325,000) in Bexhill-On-Sea, Village Underground (£305,000) in London, Birmingham’s MADE Festival (£275,133), WOMAD (£217,336) and Bush Hall (£196,064).
The awards take the total cash support package made available for culture during the pandemic to £1.87 billion.
It’s a massive vote of confidence in the role our cultural organisations play in helping us all to lead happier lives
“Culture is for everyone and should therefore be accessible to everyone, no matter who they are and where they’re from,” says culture secretary Nadine Dorries. “Through unprecedented government financial support, the Culture Recovery Fund is supporting arts and cultural organisations so they can continue to bring culture to communities the length and breadth of the country, supporting jobs, boosting local economies and inspiring people.
“This continued investment from the government on an unprecedented scale means our theatres, galleries, music venues, museums and arts centres can carry on playing their part in bringing visitors back to our high streets, helping to drive economic growth, boosting community pride and promoting good health. It’s a massive vote of confidence in the role our cultural organisations play in helping us all to lead happier lives.”
The list of music recipients also includes Mustard Group (£167,992), Corsica Studios (£150,000), MLM Concerts (£125,566), Komedia (£123,500), Fairport Convention Ltd (£120,000), Reprezent Radio (£115,000), Bird On The Wire (£90,000), NGE Music (£90,000), Urban Development (£80,509), Electric Ballroom (£75,787), New Vortex Jazz Club (£71,750), The Louisiana Bristol (£65,500), TGC Concerts (£59,300), Jazz Refreshed (£41,000), Exeter Cavern (£25,000) and Servant Jazz Quarters (£25,000).
“This continued investment from the government on an unprecedented scale means our theatres, galleries, music venues, museums and arts centres can carry on playing their part in bringing visitors back to our high streets, helping to drive economic growth, boosting community pride and promoting good health,” adds Arts Council England CEO Darren Henley. “It’s a massive vote of confidence in the role our cultural organisations play in helping us all to lead happier lives.’
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69k industry jobs lost to Covid, report reveals
UK Music’s annual This Is Music report has revealed the impact of Covid-19 wiped out 69,000 music industry jobs – one in three of the total workforce.
Employment plummeted by 35% from an all-time high of 197,000 in 2019 to 128,000 in 2020, according to the 2021 report, while the industry’s economic contribution fell 46% from £5.8bn to £3.1bn year-on-year. Music exports also dropped 23% from £2.9bn to £2.3bn in the same period.
Launching the report, UK Music has called on the government to introduce tax incentives and other employment-boosting measures to help the sector rebuild. It also calling for urgent action to resolve the problems facing musicians and crew touring the EU.
UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin says: “The past 18 months have been exceptionally challenging for the UK music industry, with billions wiped off the value of the sector – but we are determined to look to the future and focus on recovery.
“Music matters to us all. And in a year when we’ve seen just how important music is to all our lives, it’s more important than ever that we take the necessary steps to protect, strengthen and grow the industry.”
“In our Music Industry Strategic Recovery Plan we identify the policy interventions required and set out a clear action plan to get the industry back up on its feet.”
With the right support, the UK music industry can help drive the post-pandemic recovery
UK Music, which carried out the flagship study with its members since 2013, is now urging the government to implement tax incentives for the music industry to stimulate growth and jobs, and to take action to remove the barriers to touring the EU.
In addition, it is calling for a permanent reduction in VAT rate on live music event tickets, more funding and support for music exports, and an increase in funding for music education and for the self-employed to help secure the talent pipeline.
“With the right support, the UK music industry can help drive the post-pandemic recovery,” adds Njoku-Goodwin. “This Is Music sets out the positive role the music industry can play in our country’s future, and the steps that need to be taken to achieve that.
“Music is a key national asset, part of our history and our heritage. More than that, it’s part of our future. And we can’t value it highly enough.”
UK Music has also commissioned Public First to survey the views of the general public on the music industry. Among the findings were that 75% of the public are proud of the UK music industry and its heritage, 59% believe music improves the UK’s reputation overseas and 74% say music is important to their quality of life.
Culture secretary Nadine Dorries adds: “I know how difficult the last year and a half has been – with venues closed, stages dark, and artists prevented from doing what they love. The whole industry has shown great strength, patience and resilience during these hard times, pulling together to help the whole country get through the Covid-19 crisis.
“Our £2 billion Culture Recovery Fund has been a vital lifeline, helping music organisations across the UK to survive one of the worst peacetime crises on record. As doors reopened, our Events Research Programme has enabled music events to return safely.
“We have also listened carefully to UK Music’s arguments about a market failure regarding events insurance, and introduced the Government-backed £700 million Live Events Reinsurance Scheme to ensure future events can be planned with certainty.
“Until now, our focus has been rescue and reopening. Now the priority is to ensure a strong recovery. The UK music industry is one of our country’s great national assets, and I give my commitment that the Government will continue to back it every step of the way.”
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UK govt announces details of round three of CRF
Britain’s culture secretary, Oliver Dowden, has announced details of the final £300 million of the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) for creative, arts and heritage businesses.
Applications for the funding are due to open “shortly”, according to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), with almost £220m available for both new organisations at “imminent risk of failure” and existing recipients of CRF grants and loans, which include historic venues such as Royal Albert Hall, Alexandra Palace and Southbank Centre, as well as a number of private live music businesses.
Originally worth £1.57 billion, the CRF received a further £300m in the March 2021 budget. So far, the fund has provided over £1.2bn to more than 5,000 organisations, supporting over 200,000 jobs, according to DCMS.
“Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of organisations across the country to survive and protected hundreds of thousands of jobs,” says Dowden (pictured). “Now, as we look forward to full reopening, this funding shows our commitment to stand behind culture and heritage all the way through the pandemic.
“This round of funding will provide a further boost to help organisations build back better and ensure we can support more of those in need, safeguarding our precious culture and heritage, and the jobs this supports.”
“This round of funding will provide a further boost to help organisations build back better”
The package announced today (25 June) is made up of several strands, including an emergency fund for organisations who are at risk of ceasing to trade viably within 12 weeks, and have not been supported by the CRF; and a continuity fund offering support for those who have been previous recipients but now may be struggling to survive or reopen, collectively worth £218.5m.
The remainder of the money will go towards a £35m ‘heritage stimulus fund’ to support essential capital projects and a £20m ‘cultural asset fund’ to save historic assets at risk of loss. A further £7.5m is budgeted for admin costs.
Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of Arts Council England, comments: “The Culture Recovery Fund has been a lifeline for the sector throughout the pandemic, and has saved hundreds of cultural organisations across the country from collapse.
“Creativity and culture will be an essential part of our efforts to rebuild after the pandemic, and we’re extremely grateful for the government’s continued support to help organisations reopen and play their part in the national recovery.”
Guidance for each funding stream will be published shortly, says DCMS.
Hope on the horizon for UK cancellation insurance?
After an ongoing battle for event cancellation insurance in the UK, the government has indicated it will intervene if commercial insurance is still unavailable when the country is scheduled to fully reopen.
In yesterday afternoon’s (13 May) DCMS (Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport) select committee meeting, secretary of state Oliver Dowden said that if events still cannot go ahead by stage four of the roadmap (21 June) because of market failure with commercial insurance, the government would “intervene in the same way we did with Film & TV“.
When Dowden was asked whether festivals and events should write off this summer, he answered “no”.
“My first priority is to make sure we get the events industry up and running, which requires us to reach stage four by 21 June,” said Dowden.
“Once we get to that point, if events still can’t go ahead because of the failure of a commercial insurance market, we stand ready to use government intervention in exactly the same way we did with Film & TV. I’ve had extensive discussions with the prime minister and chancellor on this but we must first know if something can go ahead, and if the final barrier is lack of commercial insurance then we can go about acting.”
When Dowden was asked whether festivals and events should write off this summer, he answered “no”.
In yesterday’s IQ Recovery Sessions, Festival Republic’s Melvin Benn revealed the formation of an ‘Events Indemnity Sprint Group’, which has been tasked by the government with finding solutions to the issue of events insurance.
When asked whether the government’s plan to intervene is coming “too late”, Dowden responded: “Through the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) we have acted – particularly round two and with round three. There are challenges around bringing forward indemnity and insurance, firstly in not knowing we can fully go ahead with events from 21 June.
“It is not reasonable to expect the taxpayer to provide indemnity if it is not possible for the events to happen. There are also questions in relation to scope. At this stage, it would be better to get clarity exactly where the gap lies when things open, to then determine the extent of government intervention to fill the final mile.”
A recent AIF (Association of Independent Festivals) member survey revealed that 92.5% of respondents do not plan on staging their events without some form of government-backed insurance or indemnity scheme, with the measure being described as vital not optional.
“We stand ready to use government intervention in exactly the same way we did with Film & TV”
According to the association, more than 25% of the UK music festivals have already been cancelled due to a lack of government-backed insurance, including Glastonbury, Download and Boomtown.
Tim Thornhill of specialist brokers Tysers Insurance tells IQ: “On 21 June many more events this summer will have cancelled because of the pressure to pay deposits to the supply chain and increasing financial exposure of organisers as time is needed to plan and build events.
“This is despite the UK being ‘completely on track at the moment with the roadmap with the vaccination rolling out as planned’ said Dowden who has a ‘single-minded determination to get full reopening from the 21st June’. This determination and optimism need to be accompanied by setting up a government-backed insurance programme immediately. The planning and announcement of insurance need to run concurrently with the planning of safe events with the Events Research Programme (ERP) and successful pilots.”
The results of the UK government’s ERP will determine how larger events can take place in step four of the roadmap.
Read more about the issue of event cancellation insurance via specialist brokers here.
UK festivals benefit from substantial CRF grants
Glastonbury, Boomtown Fair and Cheltenham Jazz Festival have been awarded substantial grants in round two of the UK government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund (CRF2).
The 2,700 recipients of the CRF2 were announced last Friday by culture secretary Oliver Dowden, who said Glastonbury’s £900,000 grant would help the festival stage two smaller events this year, including the recently announced Live at Worthy Farm, and would help sustain it until 2022.
Boomtown was awarded £991,000, which the organisers say will secure the future of the festival, and Cheltenham Jazz Festival was awarded £290,000.
We’re grateful to have been offered an award from the Culture Recovery Fund. After losing millions from the cancellation of our last two Festivals, this grant will make a significant difference in helping to secure our future. @ace_southwest @DCMS @ace_national #HereForCulture
— Glastonbury Festival (@glastonbury) April 2, 2021
Other festivals to benefit in the latest round of the CRF are Sea Change Festival (£126,000), Standon Calling (£418,465), Y Not Festival (£120,000), Towersey Festival £104,000), Bestival and Camp Bestival founder Rob da Banks’ Sunday Best Recordings Ltd (£92,000), Noisily Festival (£78,000), Strawberries and Creem (£75,000) and Nozstock (£32,000).
The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF), confirmed that 70% of the members who applied for a grant in CRF2 have been offered funding, which amounts to over £5.5m with an average grant of almost £126,000.
“We thank the Treasury, DCMS and Arts Council England for this lifeline, and for investing in some of this summer’s independent festivals, enabling them to survive and continue planning in the short term,” says Paul Reed, CEO at AIF.
Thanks to the funding we’ve received from the government’s #CultureRecoveryFund we’re all set to build on our digital…
“AIF worked tirelessly to ensure that festivals were eligible for the fund in the first place, and to support and service members at every step – sharing information, engaging funding specialists, organising online sessions and working around the clock to support applications.
“This latest government support is invaluable. However, as with the first round, it is important to note that this money did not reach the entire sector, that it will only support some festivals until the end of June and that hurdles remain before festivals are able to plan with confidence – not least the absence of a government intervention on insurance. It is also critically important that the Events Research Programme explores challenges and mitigations around all types of events including festivals.”
Among the grassroots venues to receive grants from the CRF2 are Hull’s The New Adelphi Club (£30,000), The Louisiana in Bristol (£63,000), Cambridge Junction (£248,083), Brudenell Social Club (£213,853) in Leeds and London’s Troubadour (£272,828).
We're so pleased to announce that we have received much-needed funding from the @DCMSArts Cultural Recovery Fund 🎉
— Boomtown Fair (@BoomtownFair) April 2, 2021
Music Venue Trust (MVT) strategic director, Beverley Whitrick, says: “MVT has worked hard to support eligible grassroots music venues in their applications to this fund and we are delighted that members of the Music Venues Alliance (MVA) have now been awarded almost £16million in support.
“This represents an 80% success rate for MVA members, many of whom had never applied for public funding prior to this pandemic. This money is aimed at securing venues until the end of June 2021.”
Music Venue Trust represents over 900 venues across the UK.
Other successful applicants of the CRF2 include event industry suppliers and service providers such as A&J Big Tops Limited (£545,000), AB Lighting (£79,000) and Symphotech (£60,000).
The CRF was increased by £300m earlier this year as part of chancellor Rishi Sunak’s March budget.
For the full list of recipients, visit the Arts Council England website.
NAO publishes results of investigation into CRF funding
The National Audit Office (NAO), the UK’s public spending watchdog, has found that just over half of the grants and loans awarded as part of the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) had been paid out as of February.
In a report, Investigation into the Culture Recovery Fund, published this morning (12 March), the NAO reveals that of the £830 million in CRF funding awarded so far, only £495m had been paid by 19 February.
The CRF, which was set up last year to assist entertainment, arts and leisure businesses forced to close as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, received an extra £300m in last week’s budget, bringing total funding across three rounds to £1.87bn. For music and live entertainment businesses, funding is administered by Artists Council England.
Meg Hillier MP, chairman of the Committee of Public Accounts, has urged payments to be sped up. “The culture, arts and heritage sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic, with many organisations now having been closed for nearly a year,” she says. “Many across the sector will have welcomed the funding announced last summer.
“But eight months later, more than half of the £1 billion made available so far is still waiting in the wings. With the sector’s shutdown already past government’s worst-case scenario [of March 2021], DCMS needs to get support out to organisations while there are still organisations left to support.”
“Many businesses are awaiting the outcome of the CRF 2, which will be fundamental to their future”
A spokesperson for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) attributes the delay to the necessary “safeguards taxpayers would expect to see in such a huge investment”.
“Applications are being processed for a £400m second round of grants and loans, and an additional £300m announced at the Budget will help the hardest hit reopen and recover,” they add. “This brings direct support for the culture sector to almost £2bn.”
The NAO’s report also found that two grants to be awarded by Arts Council England (ACE), worth nearly £0.5m, were withdrawn after they were found to be based on fraudulent claims.
“ACE told us that in no cases where a grant had been paid out had fraud been identified,” add the report’s authors.
Michael Kill, CEO of the Night-Time Industries Association, also urges DCMS and ACE to speed up payments where possible.
“Many businesses are awaiting the outcome of the CRF 2, which will be fundamental to their future, and ultimately have an impact on the cultural tapestry of this country for years to come,” he says.
UK live industry cautiously welcomes 2021 budget
The UK’s live music industry has welcomed many of the provisions contained in the 2021 government budget, presented this afternoon by chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak, but expressed its disappointment at the continued lack of a European-style insurance scheme for festival organisers.
Among the measures unveiled by Sunak in the Commons today (3 March) are an extra £300 million for the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF), ‘restart grants’ for hospitality/leisure businesses, the extension of the coronavirus job retention scheme (furlough) and self-employed income support (SEISS) schemes, and business rate relief.
The budget also confirmed an extension of the 5% rate of VAT on ticket sales – a key campaign focus for pan-industry group LIVE (Live music Industry Venues and Entertainment) and the whole UK concert industry – for a further six months, with an interim rate of 12.5% until April 2022.
Paul Reed, CEO of the Association of Independent Festivals, says: “We warmly welcome the extension to the reduced VAT rate on tickets, which will really help festivals during the 2021 sales cycle. For many AIF members, this is the first period in which they are selling tickets since the outset of the pandemic. We do, however, reiterate the recommendation of the DCMS select committee for VAT on ticket sales to remain at a reduced rate for three years so that the UK festival sector can fully recover.
“The Culture Recovery Fund has been a lifeline for many of our members so it’s greatly encouraging to see a further £300m invested into this, though we would appreciate some further detail on this additional round and the time period it will cover.
“Independent festival organisers would much rather mobilise their staff to plan a full and successful festival season this summer”
“We also welcome the extension to the government’s furlough scheme and continued support for the self-employed. However, independent festival organisers would much rather mobilise their staff to plan a full and successful festival season this summer. As we have repeatedly stressed, the only way they can do this is with a government-backed insurance scheme that covers Covid-19-related cancellation. The chancellor today confirmed the extension of the government backed restart scheme for film and TV productions – a similar safety net needs to be put in place before the end of March to avoid mass cancellations throughout the UK’s festival market.”
Lucy Noble, chair of the National Arenas Association, comments: “For the live music industry, today’s budget, and specifically the extension of furlough to September, is enormously welcome. The whole sector has been grateful for a 21 June ‘not before’ date for operating at full capacity, and the extension of the 5% VAT rate on tickets is something we had been hoping to see.
“Uncertainty remains, and the lack of insurance for Covid-related cancellation is a huge concern – what the entire live sector wants is to be allowed to trade safely out of this situation and once more welcome people to come together for extraordinary shared experiences.”
“Music Venue Trust welcomes the extensions to furlough, SEISS and the VAT cut on ticket sales,” says MVT CEO Mark Davyd. These measures are supportive of the next steps in the campaign to reopen every venue safely. On business rates, we note that the Chancellor has provided a 100% cut for the initial three-month period in which venues will not be trading. 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.
“The chancellor announced additional funding to be distributed by Arts Council England [ACE], but the purpose of this funding is unclear; we hope to work with ACE and DCMS to ensure it is effectively distributed, and includes sensible and structured capital investment that enables our music venues to become more Covid-secure.”
“The needs of those in mixed employment, and those individuals operating as limited companies, were not met”
Annabella Coldrick, chief executive of Music Managers Forum, says: “The MMF welcomes the extension of eligibility for support to the self-employed. This is a really important measure that should have an impact on our community and their clients, many of whom faced real hardship during the pandemic, although unfortunately directors of limited companies are still excluded. We also welcome the £300m Cultural Recovery Fund for reopening, although it was disappointing not to hear any developments on government-backed insurance for live music events which is urgently needed to get us back up and running in July.
For a full longer-term music recovery, to a place where artists can perform to full capacity crowds and tour internationally, we will need this kind of targeted and continued support reaching into 2022.”
“We welcome the continuation of support for employers and self-employed workers, as well as the addition of those newly self employed sole traders; this is tempered by the disappointment that the needs of those in mixed employment and those individuals operating as limited companies were not met,” adds Dave Keighley, chair of the Production Services Association.
“Support for companies is also broadly welcomed, although doubt over whether business rate relief applies to our members that support hospitality and leisure remains. Any discounts given to venues should be clearly extended to those companies that work in those venues, recognising that live events are an ecosystem that needs complete support. Although the extension of the 5% VAT rate helps, it needs to be extended to assist our sector’s recovery.
“The extension to the Culture Recovery Fund is encouraging, we hope that the current and subsequent rounds will support event more of our member companies that support cultural activity.”
New funding rounds announced in UK
Millions of pounds worth of further grants and loans have been made available in England and Scotland to help the UK live industry recover from Covid-19.
Arts Council England (ACE) has opened applications for a second round of repayable finance for culturally significant organisations in England.
The programme, which is part of the UK Government’s £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Fund (CRF), aims to support those organisations as they transition back to a ‘viable and sustainable operating model’ during the 2021/22 financial year.
The budget for the second round is up to £100 million and the minimum amount that can be applied for is £1m. The final round of CRF grants, totalling around £300m, are expected to open for applications in early January.
Organisations who have previously been awarded a CRF loan are not eligible to apply for further CRF loans, while previously successful grant applicants can.
Last week, the Government and ACE announced the first-round recipients of the repayable finance scheme which included London venues the Royal Albert Hall (£20.74m) and Southbank Centre, while Alexandra Palace (pictured) was awarded £2,967,600 from the £60m Capital Kickstart Fund. The latest grants and loans marked a milestone £1bn in funding allocated.
Elsewhere, the Scottish government has announced an extra £13 million to provide further support for the events sector in Scotland.
Of this, £6 million has been committed for the establishment of a new fund which will open this week to support those event businesses which are critical to Scotland’s events sector, and without which the capacity to deliver major events would be significantly reduced.
“This [£13m] will help hard-pressed businesses going forward and ensure that they are ready to support the recovery”
The Pivotal Event Businesses Fund will provide grants from £25,000 up to a maximum of £150,000 to support approximately 50 to 100 event businesses whose primary role as organisers, suppliers, contractors and venues is critical to the survival of the events sector in Scotland, and upon whom the wider events industry and supply chain are most reliant for their own business and operations.
The remaining funding will be used to set up a separate fund to provide broader support to businesses across the full range of the events sector, including the supply chain, and will be announced early in the new year.
The latest funding follows the £10 million announced by the culture secretary in July for the events industry, of which £6 million was allocated to the now-closed Event Industry Support Fund while £2 million was allocated to Scotland’s Events Recovery Fund currently being run by EventScotland.
“The events sector has faced severe challenges throughout 2020 as the restrictions necessary to contain the coronavirus pandemic have left most businesses unable to operate. While the arrival of a vaccine offers grounds for hope, the events sector and its wider supply chain will continue to experience difficulties for some time to come,” says culture secretary Fiona Hyslop.
“We were able to provide financial support for the events sector in the autumn but we have continued to listen and we acknowledge that further funding is required. This additional £13 million will allow us to help hard-pressed businesses going forward and ensure that they are ready to support the recovery when it is safe to operate again.
“Scotland has a well-earned reputation for delivering successful events at local, national and international level. We are working collaboratively with the industry to ensure that the sector has a future to look forward to and that we maintain our position as the perfect stage for events.”
Final £400m on the way as latest CRF recipients announced
Historic London venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Alexandra Palace and Southbank Centre are among the beneficiaries of the latest round of Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) spending, as the scheme marks a milestone £1 billion in funding allocated.
The Royal Albert Hall (5,272-cap.) and Southbank Centre, along with organisations such as the English National Opera, Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre, were awarded a share of £165 million in low-interest repayable finance, with the Albert Hall receiving a total of £20.74 million from the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Arts Council England (ACE).
Hall CEO Craig Hassall says the loan is a “lifeline” that will enable the Victorian arena “restore our minimum reserves and operating finances to a level comparable to before the pandemic struck”.
Elsewhere, a number of venues across the country are receiving grants from the £60m Capital Kickstart Fund. They include the Alexandra Palace, which has been awarded £2,967,600 to enable its 10,400-capacity Great Hall to “continue with a diverse programme of live, Covid-secure events this winter”, and new Manchester arts venue the Factory, which receives £21m towards its completion.
“As well as providing a multi-use space for diverse arts activity,” the Factory will be the permanent home for Manchester International Festival, “which attracts visitors to the city from across the country and creates opportunities for creative freelancers,” reads a statement from DCMS and UK culture minister Oliver Dowden CBE.
“The £1 billion invested so far through the Culture Recovery Fund has protected tens of thousands of jobs”
“Over the last nine months we’ve worked non-stop to make sure we can open the doors safely and keep the parkland well maintained to provide vital green space,” says Louise Stewart, CEO of Alexandra Park and Palace Charitable Trust. “There are many challenges ahead, but for now at least, thanks to this funding, we have some time and resource to deliver our route to recovery.”
The latest grants and loans come as the government makes plans to allocate the final £400 million of the £1.57 billion CRF. Further details of the final round, comprising £300m in grants and £100m loans to help companies “transition back to usual operating mode from April 2021”, will be announced shortly.
According to Dowden, some funding was held back in previous rounds (to enable authorities to assess the “changing public health picture”), and will also be made available to organisations at “imminent risk of collapse before the end of this financial year” in April.
“This government promised it would be here for culture, and today’s announcement is proof we’ve kept our word,” says the culture secretary. “The £1 billion invested so far through the Culture Recovery Fund has protected tens of thousands of jobs at cultural organisations across the UK, with more support still to come through a second round of applications.
“Today we’re extending a huge helping hand to the crown jewels of UK culture, so that they can continue to inspire future generations all around the world.”
More information about the CRF is available from the Gov.UK website.