Arts Council England 'confident' ahead of Spending Review

21 Oct 2021

Internal documents show the funder transferred millions from its primary funding streams to bolster the Culture Recovery Fund and support creatives through the pandemic.

Question marks over festival insurance scheme

21 Oct 2021

Event organisers say they have been unable to obtain quotes for the Government's Live Events Reinsurance Scheme. 

Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) Chief Executive Paul Reed confirmed cover does not stretch to festivals that cancel if capacity restrictions are reintroduced.

"The scheme only covers you in the event of a civil authority shutdown at either local or national level, so it is extremely limited in scope."

The £750m scheme also doesn't cover artists or workforces scheduled for cancelled festivals.

A recent study found 58% of AIF members are not likely to pursue quotes for the scheme.

"They [the Government] want far too much money and there are too many caveats in it," Reed added.

"I think they just keep paying us lip service like they have done all the way down the line."

Manchester’s Factory to open in 2023 after delays

construction of the Factory
20 Oct 2021

The £186m arts complex continues to make a “strong strategic case” with a revised business case and new training programme.

ACE invests £2.78m in cross-curriculum creativity

pupil presenting a creative project in class
13 Oct 2021

Eight school networks will develop creativity to inspire long term curriculum change – but not necessarily in arts subjects.

£2m ringfenced to invest in BAME creative businesses

07 Oct 2021

£2m of a £24m fund will be ringfenced to support Black, Asian and minority ethnic-led creative businesses.

Creative Growth Finance, a specialist lender for the creative industries, says businesses where the executive team is at least one third BAME will be eligible for support, as well as those that produce tools to improve the sector's inclusivity.

Chief Financial Officer Mehjabeen Patrick said the creative industries are pushing boundaries but that the products of creativity too rarely reflect the diversity of their creators.

"This is especially true at business leadership level, where opportunities for progression are, or appear, unattainable to many."

The Creative Growth Finance Debt Fund was established last year by Triodos Bank and Creative England.

Businesses must have an annual turnover of at least £300,000 to apply.

Tech enabling creativity

06 Oct 2021

One of the most powerful things to emerge during the pandemic is the importance of the arts to our wellbeing. Gilane Tawadros says the visual arts – and artists in particular - can play a critical role in post-pandemic recovery.

UK Government pledges to address Glasgow culture funding crisis

04 Oct 2021

The UK Government has said it will help Glasgow address its culture funding crisis.

The city’s cultural operator Glasgow Life has warned it cannot reopen more than 90 of its 171 venues if it does not secure funding above the £100m pledged by Glasgow Council over the next for years.

The charitable trust announced plans to cut 500 jobs earlier this year.

UK Government Minister for Scotland Iain Stewart said he is "keenly aware" of the difficulties Glasgow Life faces.

"The cultural importance of Glasgow's museums cannot be overstated. I am determined to do everything I can to support efforts to secure the future of our wonderful collections."

Glasgow Life Chairman David McDonald welcomed Stewart's comments and hoped they spark a meeting between Scotland Office and the Scottish Government to "protect cultural growth in Glasgow".

DACS distributes £5.6m in payback royalties

04 Oct 2021

The Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) has distributed £5.6m in payback royalties to 86,000 visual artists this year.

The Payback scheme pays photographers, illustrators and artists annual when their artworks are published in UK books and magazines or on TV.

DACS said the scheme gave artists a "reliable source of income" during the tumult of the pandemic. 

It has paid out over £65m through Payback since its inception in 1999.

Visual artists interested in joining the scheme can register at DACS' website to be notified when it reopens in January.

Digital tax switch delayed until 2024

29 Sep 2021

The Government has pushed back plans to digitalise the tax system for sole traders with annual income over £10,000.

The delay means freelancers will not need a digital tax account until April 2024, when HMRC are expected to introduce quarterly payments.

The proposed tax regime could cause freelancers to pay up to two years’ tax at once and has been met with concern from the creative sector.

Financial Secretary to the Treasury Lucy Frazer said the Government’s decision was due to “stakeholder feedback”.

Tax advisor Guy Sterling called the delay as a “general hurrah” for freelancers.

“Perhaps the lobbying worked, or HMRC hasn’t got the software quite ready [but] creative industry freelancers will be delighted with this prudent decision.”

Live Events Reinsurance Scheme officially opens

24 Sep 2021

The Government's insurance scheme for events has officially opened with an extra £50m to cover potential Covid-related cancellations.

£800m will be available to event organisers which have purchased standard cover at least 12 weeks out from the date.

The scheme's start was delayed by a day as the Government finalised arrangements with insurers.

Munich Re, Beazley, Arch, Dale, and Ark are carriers of the scheme, with more firms coming on board in the weeks to come.

National Insurance hike 'deeply damaging' to creative freelancers

17 Sep 2021

The tax increase will be a "double whammy" for some self employed creatives, as income support dries up in October.

Dormant accounts invested in arts development scheme

16 Sep 2021

£500,000 of unclaimed money has been granted to a development programme for Northern Irish arts organisations.

Arts & Business NI received the Dormant Accounts Fund NI award to support its new programme Blueprint.

It is the first strategic grant awarded by fund after Northern Ireland's Department of Finance opened applications in January.

Blueprint is a five-year partnership programme to help arts organisations develop financial skills, review business models and generate income in “new and creative ways”.

Arts & Business NI says it will "create a stronger, healthier arts funding ecology".

"Our ambition to create transformational change and build long-term financial strength in the NI cultural sector, mirrors the aims of the Dormant Accounts Fund NI," Chair Martin Bradley said. 

70% of shielding musicians facing financial hardship

13 Sep 2021

The music industry is urging better financial support for shielding musicians after research found 70% are facing financial hardship.

Nearly 60% said they hadn’t received any financial support during the pandemic and almost 40% say they must continue shielding beyond the end of Covid restrictions.

Musicians' Union General Secretary Horace Trubridge said shielding musicians are being “left behind with no support”.

Alongside The Ivors Academy, the union is asking the Government to extend furlough and self-employment support for shielding musicians until they can safely return to work.

“The Government must provide clearer, accessible guidance, and ensure that this group of workers can access financial support to stay safe and not be forced to choose between going to work and their health,” Trubridge added.

Reinsurance won't cover cancellations due to capacity limits

10 Sep 2021

Any reintroduction of social distancing won't be covered under the Government's £750m scheme, which comes with hefty premiums.

Watchdog raises concerns over Sony merger

08 Sep 2021

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is investigating Sony Music Entertainment’s acquisition of two Kobalt Music Group subsidaries, AWAL and Neighbouring Rights.

The watchdog believes the £312m deal, completed in May, could limit competition after an initial investigation.

The CMA found evidence AWAL was "well-placed" to compete with Sony in the future, recognising the music distributor as "one of few suppliers outside the major labels that succeeded in gaining a meaningful foothold in the market".

CMA's Senior Director Colin Raftery said the merger could worsen deals for many music artists in the UK, leading to less innovation across the industry.

Sony has said it is "perplexed" by the findings. The industry giant has until September 14 to address the CMA's concerns, before the deal is referred for an in-depth Phase 2 investigation.

£1.31bn in tax relief for creative industries

25 Aug 2021

The creative industries received £1.31bn in tax relief in the year to March.

New data from HM Revenue and Customs shows theatres received £74m through the Theatre Tax Relief scheme, while orchestras clawed back £11m.

Theatre Tax Relief for 2020/21 covered 1,070 claims representing 3,660 productions. 72% of these were non-touring.

47% of claims were for £10,000 or less, compared to 6% of claims over £250,000 or more.

Orchestras Tax Relief was paid out for 175 claims representing 750 productions. 

Although the number of claims by orchestras increased from the previous year, the amount of relief fell by about £5m.

New tax rules could cause cashflow woes for freelancers

19 Aug 2021

The proposed changes would mean increased admin for the self-employed and a supersized tax bill in 2023.

Local authority culture budgets increase post-Covid

photo of New Theatre Royal in Portsmouth
12 Aug 2021

The increased spending may not indicate increased investment, as councils are forced to compensate for income lost during Covid-19.

Third Culture Recovery Fund round to open

09 Aug 2021

£150m is available to previous grantees only, with a special sustainability programme for the highest-funded applicants.

£750m live events insurance scheme approved

06 Aug 2021

The sector's prayers have finally been answered but the scheme comes with a significant premium that could prove challenging for smaller operators.


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