Arts Council England announces £160m coronavirus emergency fund

Arts Council England announces £160m coronavirus emergency fund

Arts Council England (ACE) has announced a £160m emergency funding package to help artists and art organisations cope with the coronavirus crisis.

ACE is making the funds available to cultural organisations, freelancers and artists to survive the financial hardship brought on by the pandemic.

It includes £90m for organisations in its national portfolio which includes scores of literary organisations and publishers, alongside £50m for those outside it. There is another £20m for freelancers and creative practioners, who are each eligible for £2,500.

The money is being allocated from ACE's emergency reserves and diverting funds from National Lottery project grants. The first payments will be made in the next six weeks.

Chairman Sir Nicholas Serota said: “"Covid-19 is having an impact globally, far beyond the cultural sector—but our responsibility is to sustain our sector as best we can, so that artists and organisations can continue to nourish the imagination of people across the country, both during the crisis and in the period of recovery.

“None of us can hope to weather this storm alone, but by working together in partnership, I believe we can emerge the stronger, with ideas shared, new ways of working, and new relationships forged at the local, national and even international level.”