Government still to set final Culture Recovery Fund grants date

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport ( DDCMS) has said that applications for the final £300m of the government’s £2bn Culture Recovery Fund grants are set to open imminently.

But it has not yet given a firm date, three months after the National Audit Office raised concerns about the distribution of funding.

A statement from the DDCMS promises that the final stage will launch “shortly” but has not yet set a date for charities to apply.

The DDCMS statement adds that applications are due to open only for “some parts of this funding”.

In March, the National Audit Office raised concerns that culture and heritage charities were still waiting for millions of pounds in funding from the Fund.

The NAO also found regional disparities in its distribution. London is the area to receive the most funding, accounting for almost a third of revenue grants, followed by the North West and the South East, which each received 12%, according to the NAO.

The funding is aimed at offering urgent help to arts, heritage, cultural and creative sectors to help them avoid closure and recover from the Covid-19 pandemic.

The total funding package is work £2bn and has already been used by organisations including the Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal Albert Hall.

The bulk of the remaining funding (£220m) is being made available to organisations at imminent risk of failure as well as existing recipients of grants from the Fund, says the government.

“Our record-breaking Culture Recovery Fund has already helped thousands of organisations across the country to survive and protected hundreds of thousands of jobs,” said Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.

“Now, as we look forward to full reopening, this funding shows our commitment to stand behind culture and heritage all the way through the pandemic.

“This round of funding will provide a further boost to help organisations build back better and ensure we can support more of those in need - safeguarding our precious culture and heritage, and the jobs this supports.”

Arts Council England chair Nicholas Serota added: “The Culture Recovery Fund
has been a lifeline for the sector throughout the pandemic and has saved hundreds of cultural organisations across the country from collapse.

“Creativity and culture will be an essential part of our efforts to rebuild after the pandemic, and we’re extremely grateful for the Government’s continued support to help organisations reopen and play their part in the national recovery.”

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