Mayor of London Sadiq Khan launched a new emergency £2.3m fund to support culture and creative industries at risk due to the impact of the coronavirus. The Mayor is working with the Music Venue Trust, the LGBTQ+ Venues Forum, the Creative Land Trust and BFI to help venues and artists across the capital through the new Culture at Risk Business Support Fund.
He will provide £450,000 to the Music Venue Trust to support up to 147 grassroots music venues and £225,000 to support up to 56 LGBTQ+ venues in partnership with the LGBTQ+ Venues Forum. There is £1.5m to the Creative Land Trust to support thousands of tenants across 200 artist studios workspaces and £150,000 to the BFI to help up to 25 of London’s treasured independent cinemas. Organisations set to benefit are those most at risk of falling into administration and unable to benefit from Government schemes. This will be supported by an investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies.
The coronavirus is having a significant impact on London’s arts scene and night time economy, with countless shows, events and concerts scrapped or postponed, and venues having to shut their doors and potentially face permanent closure. Many artists and performers are also self-employed and unable to benefit from the Government’s support programmes. Sadiq continues to call on the Government to do much more to provide the support the sector needs to protect its future.
The culture and creative industries and night time economy are incredibly important to London and will be integral in its recovery after the coronavirus crisis. The culture and creative industries are worth £52 billion to the capital’s economy a year and account for one in six jobs. Grassroots venues and organisations have been the foundation of this success, giving a stage for artists to develop their talents and playing a key role in the night time economy, and the Mayor has worked hard to support these industries and help stabilise the number of venues following a decade of decline.
“The coronavirus outbreak is having a significant impact on every aspect of life in London, and that includes our culture, creative industries and night time economy,” said Mr Khan. “These industries are so important to the fabric of our city during the day and night, and they will play a key role in helping us to recover from this public health crisis. I’m pleased to be working together with the Music Venue Trust, the LGBTQ+ Venues Forum, the Creative Land Trust and the BFI to offer this emergency funding to those areas most at need, but we need the Government to step forward and provide the comprehensive support this industry needs to protect its future.”
Justine Simons OBE, Deputy Mayor for Culture and the Creative Industries said: “Culture is part of London’s DNA. It is the reason many of us choose to live here and why so many visit each year. It inspires and entertains, and boosts our economy day and night by billions each year. But now more than ever our world-renowned grassroots music venues, LGBTQ+ venues, cinemas and artists need support. They are facing a huge challenge to maintain their existences, and through this fund we will do all we can to support them through these challenging times.”