South Western Federation of Museums and Art Galleries

Arts Council England announces Emergency Response Package to address Covid-19 crisis

Arts Council England has this week announced new emergency measures designed to support the cultural sector during the Covid-19 crisis.

Three Emergency Funding streams totalling £160million will be made available, thanks to a re-purposing of investment strands. The aim of the Emergency Funding will be to help individuals and organisations focus on two things: sustaining their livelihoods and businesses, and developing creative responses to the Covid-19 crisis, to help buoy the public for its duration:

  • £90million will be accessible to current National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs)
  • £50million will be accessible to organisations that aren't NPOs but that have a track record of public funding. Eligible organisations will be able to apply for grants of up to £35,000.
  • £20million will be accessible to artists and a wide range of creative practitioners. Those eligible will be able to apply for grants of up to £2,500.

Arts Council England will publish the guidance and a detailed timeline for the funds for individuals and for organisations who aren’t in NPOs, on 30 March 2020. It aims to clarify further details of the £90m fund for NPOs just after Easter.

The next National Portfolio Organisation investment process will be postponed (originally due to begin this autumn) and the current National Portfolio will be rolled over for one year, to 2023.

Darren Henley, Chief Executive, Arts Council England, said: "I want to stress that this emergency response package is only intended to deal with the immediate crisis. To secure the long-term recovery of the cultural sector, we will continue to work closely with government and other partners on further actions. Now, and for the foreseeable future, our one and only priority is to support cultural organisations and individuals using every means at our disposal.

"This is a frightening time for all of us, and a moment of great strain for the cultural sector. But, already, I’ve seen artists and organisations begin to draw on their bottomless ingenuity and creativity to dream up ways to connect, comfort and uplift us in the face of uniquely challenging circumstances. As we physically distance ourselves from one another in our daily lives, I believe the role of arts and culture in helping to bring us all together will become ever more critical."

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