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£25m fund provides much needed boost to arts sector

A new £25m fund is being made available from 5th October to support museums and performing & visual arts organisations recover from the impact of Covid-19.

The fund is being launched by philanthropists the Garfield Weston Foundation who want to support a sector floored by the recent pandemic and the restrictions put in place to attempt to contain it.

A recent survey by the Musicians’ Union found that a third of musicians could leave the industry due to Covid-19, while composer Andrew Lloyd-Webber said the arts industry was at the point of no return.

Around 2,000 charities every year benefit from grants given out by the Foundation, but nothing of this scale has ever been offered by them for the arts.

The Foundation hopes the grants will enable arts organisations to come up with creative ways to bring back audiences and support the work of artists.

The Garfield Weston Foundation’s Director, Philippa Charles, says:

The UK’s performing and visual arts are among the best in the world but they have been hit hard by the pandemic. Arts organisations are desperate to re-open and get back to what they do best and we hope that this new Fund will help them do exactly that.

The Weston Culture Fund is open to performing and visual arts organisations, arts centres, museums and galleries who bring in at least £500,000 a year. Grants available range between £100,000 and £2m.

The charity is encouraging anyone not eligible for the Fund to continue applying for regular grants available, pointing to the fact they have given away £30m already to support charities affected by Covid-19.

The closing date for applications is 9th November and decisions will be announced by the end of January 2021.

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Photo by Donald Tong

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