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Government unveils Arts Recovery Fund to provide grants of up to £3 million

The new scheme is part of the £1.57bn investment package in the arts

A venue with spectators

The government has announced how it intends to support arts organisations through the £1.57bn package.

In this first round of funding, £622 million will be distributed. Arts Council England will oversee the allocation of £500 million for theatres, music and comedy venues and museums, to help support them throughout the ongoing crisis. The rest of the money will be distributed by the British Film Institute, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England.

£258 million will be reserved for a second round of funding later in the financial year. A new independent Culture Recovery Board will be chaired by Damon Buffini to help administer the fund.

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: "Today we're publishing guidance so organisations know how to access help. We're also calling on organisations to be creative in diversifying their income streams and the public to continue supporting the places they love so this funding can be spread as far and wide as possible."

According to the government, "successful applicants for grants will need to have an innovative plan for how they will operate and be sustainable for the remainder of this financial year". Organisations should visit the websites of their relevant specialist bodies (British Film Institute, Arts Council England, Historic England and the National Lottery Heritage Fund) for further details.

Arts Council England's Nicholas Serota said: "Arts and cultural organisations are an integral part of public life in villages, towns and cities across the country. We warmly welcome and are pleased to be administering this vital investment from Government, which will help ensure as many organisations as possible survive the existential challenge posed by Covid-19 so they can continue to serve their communities safely in the future."