PM rejects call to cut isolation period

06 Jan 2022

Businesses and event promoters say the policy is squeezing the supply chain beyond viability.

£8m freelancers' fund to open in Scotland

05 Jan 2022

The cover for cancelled work is part of £65m in support for the arts announced in recent weeks. What's available in the rest of the UK?

Sector awaits post-Christmas guidance after 'inadequate' CRF boost

crowd waits infront of an empty theatre stage
22 Dec 2021

The Culture Recovery Fund top-up is branded “bizarrely detached from reality” as the sector awaits details of further Covid measures.

Wales establishes £5.25m winter stability fund

22 Dec 2021

The Welsh Government is making £5.25m available to assist Welsh arts organisations, museums, libraries and independent cinemas through the winter.

Aimed at organisations at risk of closure or job losses due to Covid-19, the fund will cover activity from 1 October to 31 March. Applications will open on 12 January until 26 January.

The Welsh Government says the money is separate from a £120m package announced to assist businesses affected by the tightening of Covid restrictions.

Welsh Deputy Minister for Arts and Sport Dawn Bowden has asked organisations to think carefully if they need to make an application.

"It’s important funds are given to those in the most urgent need. This fund is about survival, it is not about compensating for temporarily reduced profits."

Calls for theatre support following cancellations

advertisement for Les Miserables theatre production
21 Dec 2021

The Government must act now and offer theatres support and compensation, industry leaders say.

Drakeford defends decision to close nightclubs

20 Dec 2021

Wales' night-time economy may raise a legal challenge in response to closures.

Vaccine passports 'not sustainable' in Wales

17 Dec 2021

A month after implementation, venues say Covid passes have had the opposite effect on audience confidence than the policy intended.

1,500 organisations rejected in second Culture Recovery Fund round

17 Dec 2021

More than a third of applicants to the second round of the Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) were unsuccesful.

Arts Council England (ACE), which has now administered seven rounds of emergency support, declined requests from ArtsProfessional for the success rate for the £262m second round after 578 organisations - nearly a third of applicants - were rejected in the first.

However, minutes from a National Council meeting in March, published November 30, reveal 3,831 organisations bid for support in CRF round two.

Altogether, 2,277 organisations were given funding, making the success rate for this round about 59%. The success rate for round one was 70%.

ACE says it plans to release application numbers and success rates once all of the CRF has been allocated.

Scotland awaits £31m in emergency arts funding

16 Dec 2021

The country is yet to receive most of its Culture Recovery Fund allocation from May, the Culture Minister has claimed, as restrictions tighten.

'Catastrophic' collapse in attendance under Plan B

15 Dec 2021

It's estimated nearly £2bn has been lost from music venues since last week's announcement.

Production ended by Covid before it began

14 Dec 2021

Performances of The Rhythmics at Southwark Playhouse have been cancelled before they officially began.

Significant disruption has prematurely ended the production's run: there have been absensces in the company due to illness, two press night performances were delayed, and there is "ongoing uncertainty in the wake of recent Government announcements".

Producers Aria Entertainment, Metta Theatre and Edward Prophet said the show closed on Sunday (December 11), ahead of the press night and three weeks earlier than planned.

"With the necessary self-isolation requirements for confirmed Covid-19 cases, and the fact that productions of this scale are unable to contract and rehearse significant understudies, the decision has been taken to cease performances entirely."

On Wednesday (December 15), the National Theatre announced it had cancelled upcoming performances of Hex and The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time due to illness in the company.

"As the Omicron variant rapidly works its way into the population, theatres everywhere are faced once again with tough and urgent decisions, despite the rigorous regimes in place, in order to keep their companies and staff safe," Director Rufus Norris said.

Covid harmed drama education

group of drama students perform on stage
14 Dec 2021

More than half of drama teachers saw a drop in pupils choosing the subject at GCSE and A-Level following remote learning. 

Essex launches £1m arts and culture fund

13 Dec 2021

Artists and arts organisations in Essex will soon be able to apply for up to £30,000 from a £1m fund.

Essex County Council will open the fund for applications from January 4, announcing grantees at the end of March.

Grants of at least £2,500 are available to individuals, community groups, charities and public and private organisations.

The council says Essex's creative sector was the third largest in the UK pre-pandemic, contributing an estimated £2.6bn.

"We believe that a thriving creative sector is part of a strong economy and one which will rejuvenate our high streets. It is my hope that the Arts and Cultural Fund will support the diverse and vibrant communities we have throughout the county," Councillor Graham Butland said.

Sector split on Plan B mandates

Masked audience members
09 Dec 2021

Concert arenas and nightclubs will be most affected as theatres prepare for a drop in ticket sales.

Omicron has little impact on theatre sales

08 Dec 2021

Against fears the new variant might scare off audiences, data suggests ticketing and income has remained steady so far.

One in eight arts workers get no sick pay

08 Dec 2021

73,000 arts and entertainment workers do not quality for statutory sick pay, according to trade union body TUC.

The figure amounts to one in eight sector workers, or 12% of the workforce.

TUC warns that tougher self-isolation rules introduced in light of the Omicron variant could leave these workers without income over the Christmas period.

“Our sick pay system is broken. No one should be left to choose between doing the right thing or putting food on the table," TUC General Secretary Francis O'Grady said.

The UK has the least generous statutory sick pay in Europe, the union says, worth £96.35 per week and only available to employees earning more than £120 per week.

The Government previously introduced a temporary scheme to assist people who face hardship if required to self-isolate, but TUC analysis found 64% of applications were rejected.

Equity calls for mandatory masking

08 Dec 2021

Venues and producers should enforce mask wearing for audiences, performers' union Equity says.

A joint statement from President Maureen Beattie and General Secretary Paul Fleming, released before the Government's Plan B was put into effect, responds to rising cases of the Omicron variant that threaten future restrictions on live performance.

It has been agreed by the union's council.

"The joy and togetherness of live performance is sorely needed in a dark winter after a tumultuous two years, and it’s critical that the industry is protected," the statement reads.

"Producers and venues must up the ante on the enforcement of mask wearing for audiences and maintain the strongest Covid protocols backstage to protect all those watching and working in live performance.
"Theatre, variety, and live performance has been shown across the world to be safe when everyone plays their part in reducing transmission, both in taking responsibility and in enforcing proportionate rules.”

£2.7m recovery funding for Northern Irish artists

06 Dec 2021

1,433 artists working in Northern Ireland will share £2.7m in emergency funding.

The final wave of the £5m Creative Individual Recovery Programme (CIRP) has been delivered by Arts Council Northern Ireland (ACNI) on behalf of the Department of Communities.

Successful applicants were awarded up to £2,000 to undertake activity linked to their practice or art form.

The annoucement follows recent calls for further support to the sector, after Covid-19 erased a quarter of the country's creative workforce

ACNI Chief Executive Roisin McDonough said the money means artists won't be forced to find alternative work.

“That would take Northern Ireland years to recover from.”

City advisors 'the only way' to save night time economy

06 Dec 2021

A Night Time Advisor in every major city will help kickstart the industry's recovery.

The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) hopes to establish 12 new advisors to match those in Bristol, London and Greater Manchester.

Covid-19 closures and restrictions have caused an estimated 90,000 job losses, with a third of the UK’s nightclubs no longer trading.

The advisors will act as representatives for local nightlife, reporting to their local or combined authority executive to spotlight regional issues.

NTIA CEO Michael Kill says this is the only way the sector can recover its pre-pandemic vibrance.

“We would call on all relevant local and combined authorities to engage with us on this to benefit the many millions who want to see thriving night time economies all over the UK.”

Half of creative Kickstart roles filled

02 Dec 2021

The flagship scheme to address youth unemployment has been hamstrung by red tape and low demand, but is still "really positive for our sector".


Subscribe to Coronavirus