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London Mayor launches £2.3m Culture at Risk Business Support Fund

Sadiq Khan's new fund will support culture and creative industries at risk due to the impact of the coronavirus

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has announced a new emergency £2.3m fund to support culture and creative industries at risk due to the impact of the coronavirus. Support will be given to grassroots music venues, LGBTQ+ venues, artist workspaces and independent cinemas across the capital.

He will provide £450,000 to the Music Venue Trust to support up to 147 grassroots music venues and £225,000 to support up to 56 LGBTQ+ venues in partnership with the LGBTQ+ Venues Forum. £1.5m is being made available to the Creative Land Trust to support thousands of tenants across 200 artist studios workspaces, and £150,000 will go to the BFI to help up to 25 of London’s independent cinemas.

Organisations set to benefit are those most at risk of falling into administration and unable to benefit from Government schemes.

The scheme will be supported by an investment from Bloomberg Philanthropies.

The coronavirus is having a significant impact on London’s arts scene and night time economy, with countless shows, events and concerts scrapped or postponed, and venues having to shut their doors and potentially face permanent closure. Many artists and performers are also self-employed and unable to benefit from the Government’s support programmes. The Mayor continues to call on the Government to do much more to provide the support the sector needs to protect its future.

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.’

Jemma Read, Global Head of Corporate Philanthropy, Bloomberg L.P. said:

‘The coronavirus pandemic risks the continuity of thousands of London’s cultural and creative institutions and with it, the vitality and prosperity of our city. We are proud to be working alongside the Mayor of London and many of our long-standing philanthropic partners to protect the future of London’s dynamic arts industry.’

Beverley Whitrick, Music Venue Trust, said:

‘Music Venue Trust works on behalf of grassroots music venues across the whole UK but the greatest concentration of our members is in London. These venues 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.’