Arts Council England is set invite applications for repayable finance for arts, museums and heritage sectors that are at risk of collapse because of the coronavirus restrictions.
The Culture Recovery Fund – Repayable Finance Programme is intended to support cultural organisations that have been affected by the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis to stay afloat. The scheme will help maintain England’s cultural ecology by supporting culturally significant organisations which were financially sustainable before COVID-19 but are now at imminent risk of failure and have exhausted all other options for increasing their resilience.
There is a total budget of £270 million to be awarded through loan finance. Applicants may apply for a minimum of £3 million. There is no upper limit. The majority of applicants are expected to be awarded loans which include a payment term of up to 20 years, an initial repayment holiday of up to four years and a 2% interest rate per annum.
Applicants can use the investment to help prepare for re-opening and re-starting work or to remain cost-efficient in the short-term in order to reopen at a later date if, for example, reopening under social distancing is not permissible or does not represent a value for money approach. Proportionate redundancy pay outs are eligible, where decisions have been made to reduce staff.
Cultural organisations in England that are properly constituted with a governing document may apply. Eligible organisations include charitable, not-for-profit and commercial enterprises operating within the arts, museums and heritage sectors, including independent cinemas, comedy clubs and nightclubs.
The investments made through the programme are intended to ensure that organisations can return to sustainable operations no later than 31 March 2022.
There will be just one round of this programme, with applications accepted from 21 August 2020 (12:00 BST) until 9 September 2020 (12:00 BST).