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UK's COVID-hit arts and heritage organisations get £165m emergency loan package

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Some of the UK’s largest arts and heritage organisations have been given a lifeline in the form of £165m worth of emergency loans.

The loans are part of the Government’s £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund announced earlier this year, which aims to assist institutions and organisations hit by the pandemic.

More than £1bn has now been assigned from the fund, which – according to government figures – has supported more than 75,000 jobs.

Bespoke loans have been tailored for cultural institutions with an initial repayment holiday of up to four years, low interest rate and up to 20-year repayment term to ensure they are affordable for arts and heritage organisations.

The loans have been offered to 11 nationally and internationally significant organisations that demonstrated opportunities to engage local communities through education and outreach programmes.

Those benefiting from the loans include Historic Royal Palaces, which has been given £40m to help it return to financial stability while conserving world renowned historic sites like the Tower of London and Hampton Court Palace and presenting its nationally important collections to visitors.

Others receiving emergency loans announced today include The Royal Opera House (£21.7m), the National Theatre (£19.7m), the Royal Shakespeare Company (£19.4m), the Royal Albert Hall £20.7m, the Southbank Centre £10.9m and English National Opera £8.5m.

"The £1bn invested so far through the Culture Recovery Fund has protected tens of thousands of jobs at cultural organisations across the UK, with more support still to come through a second round of applications," said culture secretary, Oliver Dowden.

"Today we’re extending a huge helping hand to the crown jewels of UK culture - so that they can continue to inspire future generations all around the world."

Nick Serota, Arts Council England, added: "Today’s announcements are another vital step in securing the future of England’s cultural sector.

"The support for capital projects will help to ensure that we maintain an innovative, sustainable cultural infrastructure that supports world class creative work. The Repayable Loans will enable some of our most significant and internationally recognised cultural organisations to weather the effects of Covid-19 and reopen when it is safe to do so."

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Some of the UK’s largest arts and heritage organisations have been given a lifeline in the form of £165m worth of emergency loans.