Something extraordinary just happened.
Against expectations, the government has announced a significant rescue package for our arts and cultural organisations.
This follows an unprecedented groundswell of public pressure, including 150,000 signatures in support of the Public Campaign for the Arts.
Thanks to the package announced tonight by the government – including £880 million of grants and £270 million of loans in England, plus an extra £97 million, £59 million and £33 million for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland respectively – the cultural sector can begin its journey back to generating £32.3 billion a year for our economy. The arts can help to drive a creative recovery for the UK. And most importantly, they can continue to enrich our communities and all of our lives.
Some things remain uncertain. The show must go on, but safely – it’s not clear how long the arts will be shuttered, and what the cost of the wait may be.
But this is a vital step in the right direction. It is a vote of confidence in everyone who wrote, signed, shared, filmed and donated in this campaign.
In the last two weeks, people from every part of our country have come together to affirm the importance of arts and culture. We believe that this will be no less important in the weeks and months ahead.
Though the immediate need to lobby government has passed, we will continue to build for the next critical moment. Imagine if then we could amplify the voices not of 150,000 people, but 1 million.
Please keep spreading the word, and if you are coming to this new – join us.