The British government has announced a big pot of money to help the country’s renowned arts and cultural institutions recover from the coronavirus pandemic, after some theaters and music venues warned that without support they might never open again.
The 1.57 million pound ($1.96 billion) package for museums, galleries, theaters, cinemas, heritage sites and music venues includes almost 900 million pounds in grants and more than 200 million pounds in loans.
Details of how the money will be distributed have not been released, but leaders of arts organizations breathed a sigh of relief. Tamara Roja, artistic director of the English National Ballet, said “this package gives our sector a fighting chance of survival.”
Some U.K. arts institutions are starting to open their doors after more than three months of lockdown, starting with the National Gallery in London, which reopens Wednesday.
But theaters and concert venues have not been told when they can admit audiences, and several have already announced they will close permanently.