Law Firm Calls For Continued Efforts In Safeguarding The Nation’s Culture For The Future
As a second national lockdown gets underway, lawyers at a national law firm is continuing to support grassroots projects, calling for the nation’s cultural and artistic venues not to be forgotten.
The introduction of a four week lockdown in response to the increase in coronavirus cases has led to the re-introduction of the furlough scheme and support for businesses. Irwin Mitchell say while this is welcome, more needs to be done to ensure the long term survival of the nation’s cultural and artistic industries.
Laura Harper, a partner and specialist advisor to the creative industries has called on government and businesses who can support culture in the community to help ensure the survival of some of our best loved venues.
The government’s Culture Recovery Fund has already awarded more than £257m in grants to local arts projects throughout the country, covering music, museums, dance and the arts to help protect some of the most deserving causes and ensure they survive lockdown. Venues supported by the fund include the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester, Birmingham Repertory Theatre, the Leeds Theatre Trust, the North Music trust in Gateshead and many more.
The government has also recognised the need to offer support to smaller venues, with £50,000 donations to visual arts projects in London, niche theatres in the South West and music projects in the North East.
Recent regional projects Irwin Mitchell has been involved in, include assisting Manchester based Band on the Wall’s efforts to secure the survival of grassroots music venues across the country and the ongoing access partnership with Leeds Playhouse.
Expert Opinion“The first lockdown had a profound impact on our cultural and creative sector and while the loss of over 400,000 jobs is bad enough, we risk not just more job losses but the disappearance of much that binds many of our local communities together.
“A second lockdown threatens a crisis for music, theatre and the arts and as part of our strategy; we are supporting grass roots projects throughout the country where we can.
“As people and communities had just begun to get back on their feet, a second lockdown will be a devastating blow and bring back the uncertainty that did so much damage earlier in the year. The more of us who can do what we can to support local projects, the more of our theatres, concert halls, art centres, museums, music venues we can save.
“Government support for the big ticket names and venues is welcome and it’s good to see smaller venues have not been neglected in terms of grants awards. It’s vital this continues and we don’t forget those great local venues that mean so much to so many of us. We will miss them when they are gone and we have to do all in our power to protect what we can for people to enjoy once we can return to what may be a ‘new normality’ in the weeks and months ahead.” Laura Harper - Partner