Arts Council England statement on priorities during COVID-19 pandemic

Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England (ACE), has released a statement about the organisation's priorities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic and what it intends to do to help the arts and culture sectors. Read the statement in full below and keep up-to-date with ACE's response to COVID-19 on their dedicated pages.

"Arts Council England’s No.1 Priority for the next three months is to support people who work in the arts, museums and libraries. We want as strong a sector as possible as we come out the other side of this crisis.

Here are our first steps to help people working as artists, freelancers and in publicly funded cultural organisations:

We will refocus some grant programmes to help compensate individual artists and freelancers for lost earnings. This will require further planning. It may take about ten days before we can announce the details.

National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs) will continue to receive funding but funding conditions will not apply for at least 3 months with immediate effect. We can also advance grant payments to assist with cashflow.

For NPOs, the priority is staying in business. In exchange for our support we ask them to honour contracts agreed with freelancers/artists and think about what help they can offer their communities.

This is just the start. We are collecting intelligence from across the sector so we can understand what is needed and we are in constant conversation with DCMS colleagues about the short and long-term financial implications.

We will provide more information and ways to make contact with us on Monday. You can also share information about what is happening to you at Coronavirus-queries@artscouncil.org.uk."

For more advice, Counterculture's Tom Wilcox has revealed top ten tips for cultural organisations during the COVID-19 pandemic. Read them here.

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