Recovery roadmap for the Arts is "crucial", Culture Committee chair says

6 July 2020, 20:22 | Updated: 6 July 2020, 20:31

By Fiona Jones

Tory MP and Culture Committee chair Julian Knight explained why it is "crucial" the UK protects the Arts.

The Government has announced a £1.57 billion support package to "protect" the future of Britain's museums, galleries and theatres.

Independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues are also eligible for the emergency grants and loans.

Iain Dale pointed out to the Tory MP that it's "too little too late" for some, such as the longstanding Nuffield Theatre in Southampton.

Mr Knight added some Leicester, Manchester and Plymouth venues have been affected or have closed.

"It's ripping the heart out of many local communities and we on the committee have been calling for quite some time for a specific package to be put together. However this is at the top end of expectations and many in the arts sector really do welcome it...this will make a massive difference," he said.

He told Iain a staggering 70% of theatres could close within the year if they don't receive funding: "There needs to be a package of measures, a forward plan for how we get this sector up and running over the next 12 to 18 months because it really is crucial to our economy, particularly in London."

He called the UK "a superpower when it comes to culture" and said it brings in huge amounts of money not just for theatres but surrounding bars and restaurants.

The live music industry is crucial to show British talent with 9% of all music sold globally being from the UK.

"It's not just about luvvies, it's about the people who work in all these industries that rely on the footfall these institutions bring," Julian Knight said.

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