LONDON (Reuters) – The Glastonbury Festival will join 2,700 museums, theaters, cinemas and arts venues to receive a share of £ 400million in grants and loans to help them survive the COVID-19 pandemic, announced on Friday the British government.
Entertainment venues across Britain were forced to close last March due to the coronavirus crisis and, although some partially reopened last summer, many have remained closed since then.
Last July, the government unveiled a package of 1.57 billion pounds ($ 2.2 billion) of Culture Recovery Fund (CRF) grants and loans and detailed on Friday where the last tranche of funding would be spent.
Among the recipients is Glastonbury, the world’s largest greenfield music festival, which has been forced to cancel for two consecutive years. It will receive 900,000 pounds to help it continue through 2022.
“This grant will make a huge difference in helping secure our future,” Founder Michael Eavis and his daughter Emily said in a statement.
Tens of millions of pounds have been made available to theaters, while the English Heritage Trust, which looks after 420 monuments, buildings and historic objects, will receive £ 23.4 million.
The British Film Institute has also provided 6.5 million euros to help independent cinemas.
The government says the CRF has helped protect more than 75,000 jobs and ensure that thousands of organizations survive the COVID crisis.
“Now we stand by their side as they prepare to welcome the returning audience through their doors,” Culture Minister Oliver Dowden said.
As part of the government’s pandemic ‘road map’, it is hoped that many sites can reopen to the public from mid-May and the latest funding is designed to help theaters, museums and clubs. comedy to make the necessary preparations.
The government was accused last month of being too slow to distribute CRF money to beneficiaries, with Parliament’s watchdog claiming that only £ 495million of the first £ 1bn installment had been disbursed by the end of February .
The culture department said almost all of the £ 1.57 billion has now been allocated.
(1 USD = 0.7260 pounds)
Reporting by Michael Holden, editing by Estelle Shirbon