Thousands of freelance musicians could be eligible for £500 grants from Help Musicians’ Financial Hardship Funding programme.
Many musicians have fallen through the gaps in the government’s various support programmes over the last six months. With the temporary closure of the Arts Council Developing your Creative Practice scheme it appeared another door had been shut in the faces of independent musicians.
Now, the Arts Council has injected another £1m to the Help Musicians’ Hardship Funding programme specifically to help struggling musicians to bring the available total to £2.55m with money from the UK’s music licensing organisation, PPL and the Lightbody Foundation.
16,700 musicians benefitted from the first phase of the plan. The new money should provide a further 3,600 musicians who, despite pressure on the government from the music industry, are still not eligible for the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
The grant will help top up Universal Credit payments where relevant and help others who are not eligible for Universal Credit.