As They Hang on to Survive, Hundreds of UK Arts Institutions Will Get Another $98 Million From the British Government

News of the grants comes a week after the Arts Council England announced it would give away £257 million to more than 1,300 additional organizations.

Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Secretary Oliver Dowden on Downing Street, London. Photo: Yui Mok/PA Images via Getty Images.

Offering a lifeline to struggling cultural institutions, the Arts Council England, a government body, announced this week that it will pump £76 million ($98 million) into the coffers of 588 organizations as part of its Culture Recovery Fund.

This round of money comes under a week after the council awarded £257 million ($333 million) to 1,385 organizations on Monday, October 12.

For the latest round of funding, institutions are eligible to receive up to £1 million in individual grants.

While the first and larger round of funding last week included commercial galleries such as the Arcadia Missa and Seventeen galleries, this most recent batch focuses on nonprofits such as the Nottingham Museums.

Somerset House, for example, will be bolstered by £850,000 ($1.1 million) and the Hepworth Wakefield Trust in Yorkshire will receive more than £146,000 to present an exhibition drawn from its collection.

In total, the Arts Council England has promised £333 million ($432 million) in funding.

Somerset House director Jonathan Reekie told Artnet News that the money is “a lifeline at a critical moment,” adding that the institution is usually “financially self-sufficient, generating all the funds for our charitable activity, but the pandemic has reduced our income by more than half.” He says the museum intends to use the money to help build out “Covid-secure” programming.

UK culture minister Oliver Dowden described the funding as vital to “protecting cultural gems” and avoiding job losses, calling it the largest-ever investment in the arts.

Earlier this summer, professionals in the arts sector sent the government a stern warning that if it did not better assist cultural organisations, many would face imminent collapse.

Already, the UK-based Museums Association estimates that around 3,000 jobs in the museum sector alone have been cut. UK chancellor Rishi Sunak came under fire earlier this month when he suggested that arts workers might need to prepare for a career change.

Most of the UK’s cultural organizations were in lockdown from March until midsummer, while many others, including performing arts organizations, are still not operating at full capacity.

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