Culture Recovery Fund

COVID 19 News and Updates – UK | Prager Metis | Jul 31, 2020

On 5 July 2020, the Government announced a £1.57 billion Cultural Recovery Fund for England.

The Arts Council England, The British Film Institute, Historic England and The National Lottery Heritage Fund have now announced further details of how organisations can apply for grants under the Scheme.

As mentioned, the Scheme relates solely to organisations in England. Separate Schemes are

expected to follow for organisations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Arts Council England

The Arts Council England have revealed how Festival, events, arts and cultural organisations can apply for the grants under the Culture Recovery Fund.

Full details of how the Scheme will operate can be found at the Arts Council England website

Key highlights include:

  • The Cultural Recovery Fund is intended to support significant organisations, which were financially sustainable before Covid-19 but are now at imminent risk of failure and have exhausted all other options.
  • It is intended that the investment will ensure that, by 31 March 2021, successful applicants are either – a) fully or partially reopened, or b) operating on a sustainable, cost efficient basis, so that they are able to reopen at a later date if, for example, reopening under social distancing is not possible or economically viable.
  • Grants from £50,000 up to £3 million are available.
  • It is expected that 75% of the £500 million Fund will be distributed in the first round with Arts Council.
  • First round Open from 10 August to 21 August.
  • Second round runs from 21 August to 4 September.
  • The remainder of the Fund will be reserved for later in the financial year.
  • Separately, £270m loans will be available for £3 million plus and open to both charitable and commercial organisations. Organisations can apply for loans or grants but not both.

Eligibility criteria:

  • Applications are sought from cultural organisations (both profit and not for profit) based in England that are properly constituted and are registered at Companies House and/or Charity Commission (Individuals are specifically excluded from the Scheme),
  • Those organisations need to be able to produce at least one year’s full independently certified or audited financial statements.
  • Applicants do not have to have had public funding in the past to be eligible.

If you believe your organisation is eligible, please see the detailed guidance provided by The Arts Council England including details of how to apply.

The British Film Institute

The British Film Institute have announced how independent Cinemas can apply for grants under the Scheme.

Full details of how the Scheme will operate can be found at British Film Institute Website

The Scheme has £30 million of grants available

Key Highlights include:

  • The fund will be open from Monday 10 August until Friday 30 October, with the first grants anticipated to be available from the end of August.
  • The fund is available for both non-profit and independent commercial cinemas (including mixed artform venues).
  • Funding will be directed at building-based venues that provide a year-round film programme; it is, therefore, not available for film festivals or touring operators.
  • Cinemas can apply for grants from the following two strands:
    • £3m for safety grants to enable cinemas (up to £10,000 per cinema) to put the necessary measures in place to ensure the safety of their workforce and the public; and/or
    • £27m business sustainability grants (up to £200,000 per organisation) to support independent cinemas to operate viably under the restricted conditions imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Priority will be given to protect cultural assets in places where they are the only publicly funded organisation and/or are a key part of the cultural fabric in their community.

If you believe your organisation is eligible, please see the detailed guidance provided by The British Film Institute including details of how to apply.

Historic England/National Lottery Heritage Fund 

The National Lottery Heritage Fund in partnership with Historic England is distributing £88 million to safeguard cultural and heritage organisations across the UK from the economic impact of COVID-19.

Full details of how the Scheme will operate can be found at:

Key highlights include:

  • Applications can be made between Thursday 30 July until noon on 17 August 2020, with decisions aiming to be made by the end of September, for applications up to £1m.
  • Applications for £1m or more will be reviewed by an independent board appointed by DCMS, with decisions taking slightly longer.
  • For organisation that manage more than one heritage site, please submit one application for your organisation as a whole.
  • This fund is designed to support heritage organisations that are at risk of no longer trading viably this financial year (year ended 31 March 2021).
  • The National Lottery Heritage Fund are accepting applications from heritage organisations in England, including:
    • Not for profit organisations that manage heritage sites, venues or attractions
    • Local authorities, universities and other public sector bodies that manage heritage sites, venues or attractions
    • Private owners of heritage sites, venues or attractions that are normally open to the public 28 days a year or more
    • For profit businesses that are a vital part of the heritage ecosystem and who generate the largest portion of their income from heritage work, this includes conservators, contractors, specialists and suppliers
    • Organisations that manage culturally significant assets or collections
    • Organisations that provide significant support to the heritage sector
  • Excluded from the programme are the following:
    • Organisations that manage heritage that is not in England
    • Organisations that were not operating sustainably before March 2020
    • Organisations that can apply for support from the Culture Recovery Fund through Arts Council England or The British Film Institute. This includes accredited museums or museums that are working towards accreditation and cinemas.
    • Organisations that need more than £3million to stabilise this financial year and become viable again. Where this applies the organisation be eligible to apply for repayable finance administered and managed by Arts Council England.
    • Organisations that manage or preserve natural habitats and species.

If you believe your organisation is eligible, please see the detailed guidance provided by The National Lottery Heritage Fund or Historic England including details of how to apply.

Finally, please do not hesitate to contact your normal point of contact at Prager Metis LLP should you require any assistance in relation to this matter