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Glastonbury to get £90,000 cash boost from UK government COVID arts fund

LaToya Harding
·3-min read
Crowds listen to Kylie perform on the Pyramid Stage at the 2019 Glastonbury Festival held at Worthy Farm, in Pilton, Somerset on June 30, 2019 near Glastonbury, England. The festival, founded in 1970, has grown into one of the largest outdoor green field festivals in the world. (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images) (Photo by Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
The emergency funding is aimed at supporting Britain’s struggling cultural institutions, like Glastonbury festival, which has been cancelled for the second year running. Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images

The UK government is to hand thousands of arts, culture and heritage organisations almost £400m ($553m) in grants and loans, with Glastonbury set to receive a significant £90,000 cash boost.

The emergency funding is aimed at supporting Britain’s struggling cultural institutions, like Glastonbury festival, which has been cancelled for the second year running, and is instead hosting a livestream performance on 22 May.

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport said the money will also go towards two smaller events this year, as well as to carry the festival through to 2022.

A total of 2,700 organisations will benefit from the second tranche of grants and loans. Over £170m in repayable finance has been offered to organisations including the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company.

A further £81m in new loans were announced for 23 nationally and internationally significant organisations receiving support in excess of £1m, including English Heritage Trust, The Lowry and Sage Gateshead.

WATCH: Glastonbury organisers announce global livestream event for May

The English Heritage Trust, which cares for 420 historic monuments, buildings, objects and places, will receive £23.4m to cover COVID-related losses and support investment in essential maintenance.

Some £6.5m has also been awarded by the British Film Institute (BFI) to independent cinemas, bringing the number of cinemas supported by the Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas to 209.

Historical sites benefiting from the fund include the likes of Bamburgh Castle in Northumberland and Ely Cathedral. Charlestown Harbour in Cornwall, a filming location for Poldark, is also getting £109,500 to help the site survive the pandemic.

Museums across the country have benefited from more than £25m in this latest round of funding. The London Transport Museum which received £1,750,000 in the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund will get another £875,000 to help the museum reopen to the public in a COVID secure manner.

More than 70% of the money is being distributed to organisations outside of London, ensuring the immediate survival of 3,800 cultural organisations and heritage sites across the country.

READ MORE: Art and cultural venues get £75m boost from Culture Recovery Fund

The move brings the government’s total investment across grants, capital and repayable finance from the Culture Recovery Fund so far to more than £1.2bn.

In the March budget, chancellor Rishi Sunak announced a further £300m for the fund, which is yet to be allocated.

“Our record breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of culture and heritage organisations across the country survive the biggest crisis they’ve ever faced,” Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, said.

“Now we’re staying by their side as they prepare to welcome the public back through their doors - helping our cultural gems plan for reopening and thrive in the better times ahead.”

Michael & Emily Eavis, Glastonbury Festivals, said: “We’re extremely grateful to be offered a significant award from the Culture Recovery Fund. After losing millions from the cancellation of our last two Festivals, this grant will make a huge difference in helping to secure our future.”

WATCH: What UK government COVID-19 support is available?