This is what people who actually work in the arts have to say about Oliver Dowden's £1.57bn bailout
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Since March, the entire cultural sector in the UK has been forced into shutdown.

That meant thousands of gigs and concerts were cancelled or postponed, with shows that were set to go live on the West End and at smaller theatres shuttered.

For people in the UK who work in the arts, it’s been a difficult period – particularly as the furlough scheme tapers off, and redundancies pile up.

This weekend, Oliver Dowden, the minister for arts and culture, announced a £1.57bn bailout for the sector – although it’s not plain sailing from here on out.

“This money will help safeguard the sector for future generations, ensuring arts groups and venues across the UK can stay afloat and support their staff whilst their doors remain closed and curtains remain down,” said the government in a press release.

But what do people who actually work in the arts have to say?

Some were grateful.

Some people pointed out that this package was long overdue.

But most people had questions about how the fund would be distributed, and whether it would go to big name companies, or if it would also be used to help out grassroots organisations and individuals who had been struggling.

Some also pointed out that even with the bailout, there were still lingering questions about why the government was taking this approach to the cultural sector.

Of course, every part of the cultural sector is different – the challenges that museums and galleries now face are different from what a theatre with a 100 person capacity will.

But this is one of the largest investments in the UK cultural industry in recent years – and could be a lifeline. It is also supposed to support freelancers working in these sectors, who have often been left behind by stimulus packages from the UK government.

Of the money available, £1.15bn is a ‘support pot’ for cultural organisations in England, of which £880m is grants. There is also funding for the devolved administrations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales.

Other countries, such as France and Germany, unveiled similar measures to support their cultural industries over the last few months. But the questions still remain about whether it will be enough to support an industry which will be irreversibly changed for the foreseeable future.

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