London’s nightlife and cultural venues have been some of the hardest hit by the events of the past few months. With countless shows and events having been cancelled, and indications that social distancing could be in place until the end of 2020, their future is uncertain.
To help some of London’s most treasured places through this tough time, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has just launched a new £2.3 million emergency fund to support culture and creative industries most at risk from the pandemic.
The Culture at Risk Business Support Fund will help a whole range of creative projects and venues stay afloat. In partnership with the LGBTQ+ Venues Forum, £225,000 will go to supporting 56 LGBTQ+ venues in the capital. Another £450,000 will go to 147 grassroots music venues through the Music Venue Trust, £1.5 million will support 200 artists studios and workspaces and £150,000 of the fund will go to the BFI to help the capital’s independent cinemas. Organisations most likely to fall into administration and unable to benefit from government schemes will receive the funds, as well as people who are self-employed.
The culture and creative industries are worth £52 billion to the capital’s economy each year and account for one in six jobs. In a statement about the fund, Sadiq Khan said: ‘The coronavirus outbreak is having a significant impact on every aspect of life in London, and that includes our culture, creative industries and night-time economy. These industries are so important to the fabric of our city during the day and night, and they will play a key role in helping us to recover from this public health crisis. I’m pleased to be working together with the Music Venue Trust, the LGBTQ+ Venues Forum, the Creative Land Trust and the BFI to offer this emergency funding to those areas most at need, but we need the Government to step forward and provide the comprehensive support this industry needs to protect its future.’
DJ and broadcaster DJ Ritu said LGBTQ+ venues ‘support a diverse ecosystem of talent, which includes promoters, DJs and performers. By accessing this support, venues stand a fighting chance of securing their future and ensuring that they will be able to open their doors again soon.’
Beverley Whitrick from the Music Venue Trust said music venues in London ‘are some of the most impacted by the current crisis because the costs of running a venue in London are so high. This funding from the Mayor of London means that MVT will be able to increase the support on offer to each and every venue, dedicating invaluable human resources, specialist advice and financial assistance where other measures come up short – everything possible to sustain these venues so they can reopen in the future and host artists and audiences safely and professionally.’
Looking for ways to help London’s cultural venues? There’s a new fund to help our favourite London cinemas to survive.