'Apply for latest ACE funding', Crown urges industry

'Apply for latest ACE funding', Crown urges industry

The director of literature for Arts Council England has urged all industry organisations who are "at risk of no longer trading viably" to apply for the government's latest, ACE-administered round of emergency arts funding.

More detail has now been published on the government's £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund, including who will be eligible to apply and where its resources will be focused.

Publishers and literary bodies can apply for the Culture Recovery Fund's £500m grants programme pot, through which sums of £50,000 to £3m will be allocated to organisations across the arts. Libraries are not eligible to apply for the grants. 

ACE's literature director Sarah Crown said: “We’re really glad to be administering this investment from government, which offers a vital lifeline to cultural organisations across the board, as they begin the work of rebuilding in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.

"The funding is targeted specifically at organisations at risk of no longer trading viably by the end of this financial year, as a result of the impact of lockdown, and I’d encourage all literature organisations in this position to consider applying: the health of our sector as a whole depends on the survival of the brilliant, creative organisations that underpin it.”

In a statement, Caroline Norbury, c.e.o. of Creative England and the Creative Industries Federation, said: "The package will provide a lifeline to many of our country’s key cultural assets and creative organisations. It is good to see government’s commitment to align this support with their 'levelling up' agenda, recognising the role that the creative industries play in rebalancing and regenerating the UK economy.

"It is imperative that the distribution of these funds has inclusion and diversity at its heart. The majority of the creative industries ecosystem is made up of freelancers, microbusinesses and SMEs, and there remains an urgent need for direct support for the self-employed, particularly for those who will be much later to return to work."

Speaking at a webinar hosted by The Bookseller earlier this month, Crown emphasised the importance of small presses to the health of the publishing industry, and predicted that many would be in need of the latest grants. She added that the priority for ACE was to help indie presses craft "less fragile" business models, and to emerge from the pandemic's aftermath with more sustainable structures. 

ACE is due to announce the details of another loan service in the coming weeks. Titled Repayable Finance, the scheme will lend funds to organisations seeking over £3m to safeguard their futures, post-pandemic.