Statement - Supporting the Cultural Sector

Arts Council England is a member of our Rural Services Partnership

Covid-19 Joint Statement from Arts Council England and Local Government sector partners:

In every community culture helps people live rich and fulfilled lives.  Museums, libraries and the arts give people a chance to express and enjoy themselves, and promote strong and prosperous communities. The cultural sector derives much of its strength from the support it receives from Arts Council England and local government. 

The Covid-19 crisis is a huge challenge for the cultural sector, and this challenge must be overcome.  Culture can help sustain people, communities and our country through these testing times, and when the crisis is over, it will help our recovery. 

That is why local government, the leisure and culture trust sector, and Arts Council England will work together during the current crisis.  We know that by collaborating we can better help the cultural sector.  We will work together in the following ways.

  • Align our support Public funding is the bedrock of many cultural organisations’ income. Arts Council England has announced that it will relax funding conditions and advance payments to help organisations.  Many local authorities have said that they will support organisations in the same way.  Especially where organisations receive funding from both the Arts Council and local government, we will seek to align our approaches as far as possible.
  • Support the whole of the sector The priority is to stabilise a cultural sector facing existential challenges, including organisations of every size and the freelance and self-employed workforce.  We have a diverse and complex cultural ecology and we should act carefully with an eye to the future and we must not allow the impacts of this crisis to entrench inequality.  Local government and its partners, particularly leisure and culture trusts, are well placed to ensure that people in all places and from every background benefit from our support.
  • Share good practice and collect evidence Local authorities, leisure and culture trusts, cultural organisations and individuals will find new ways to keep the sector going and meet the immediate needs of the communities that they serve.  We will share this practice with each other and across the country.  We will also share evidence and insights – between ourselves and with government – so that national policy is as effective as possible.
  • Make the case for culture and the future Our immediate focus to get the sector through this crisis in the best shape possible. However, that cannot be our sole consideration. We believe that culture will play a role in helping our communities manage this crisis now, and to contribute to recovery and renewal once it is over.  We will work together to that end. 

Arts Council England
Chief Cultural and Leisure Officers Association
Community Leisure UK
Core Cities
Key Cities
Local Government Association
London Councils
Rural Services Network


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