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Arts Council apologises following delays in arts support fund due to 'volume and complexity of the applications'

Theatres and companies in England have yet to receive details about success of applications


© Andy Bird, (CC BY-SA 2.0, https://flickr.com/photos/mrandybird/4837931749/in/photolist-8nvEyn-Pyd4q2-FZAGzt-Y4k9qN-H43vF2-Zs9isH-WfcVG3-DmgcFC-22bdv

Though announced in July, theatres and companies in England are currently facing a fresh delay in finding out whether or not they've received money from the arts support fund.

Featuring hundreds of millions in arts grants for smaller to medium-sized organisations in England, the package was announced in July and set to be a lifeline for organisations unable to put on performances during the pandemic.

The Arts Council England stated this week to The Guardian that there are ongoing delays in informing applicants for the grant scheme about whether or not their request had been successful, due to "the volume and complexity of the applications". ACE added that, due to the fact that this is a new fund, extra due diligence has been required to make sure money is "spent responsibly". They reiterated that the scheme is still set to distribute grants this month.

Actor Leo Wan took to Twitter to state his disapproval of the delay, adding that applicants should expect to find out next week.

This delay comes during a month of great uncertainty for the theatre and arts community – with the furlough scheme set to end at the end of October and the jobs support scheme labelled an 'insult' by producer Sonia Friedman.

As such, many many organisations of all sizes have been forced to make redundancies or cancel productions while uncertainty continues. Larger companies, such as the RSC, will not be able to access loan funding until December, and has recently begun redundancy consultations.

The package was criticised for its lack of support for individual theatre workers or freelancers, many of whom have been unable to claim under SEISS (self-employment schemes) during the pandemic.

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