Suella Comments on the £1.57 Billion Arts Fund

  • £1.57 billion announced by government to protect Britain’s world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions
  • Includes £900 million in grants plus additional £270 million in repayable loans
  • Unprecedented package widely hailed by the arts and creative industries

"It is my belief that culture and art, along with economic prosperity and political freedom are the pillars upon which this country rests. Over the centuries artistic creativity has provided the kindling for the fire of learning within which Britian’s pre-eminence has been forged. In a time of crisis, like today, it is not the place of the Government to let that fire go out.

That is why I am immensely pleased that thousands of organisations across a range of sectors, including the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema will benefit from access to the emergency grants and loans, announced this week by the Government. The £1.57 billion package represents the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture and will provide a lifeline to vital cultural and heritage organisations across the country hit hard by the pandemic, ensuring they stay afloat and protecting multi-billion pound industries that are famous around the world for the future. This unprecedented injection will have far reaching and immensely beneficial implications for the Solent region.

The Solent region has an immensely proud cultural heritage, associated with towering giants such as H.G Wells who lived here during the 1880s and Charles Dickens an esteemed son of Portsmouth. In Dicken’s own work “Hard Times”, which I think perfectly resonates through the ages into our own present predicament, he reflects; “There is a wisdom of the head, and... there is a wisdom of the heart.” We must not forget this timeless truism. Whilst we start to recover and rebuild, we must of course go out into the world to foster economic and commercial growth. However, we should also be aware that growth has many faces, and withhold that it is equally important to know the cultural value of something, as its numerical price.

We should see this new investment as an opportunity for enlightenment and remember that this Covid-19 global upset too will pass, as the darkest hour is always before dawn. It is what we do in the dawn that will matter most and if we are equipped with the correct educational, cultural and artistic tools I believe we will be able to paint an impressive picture on the new blank canvas."

- Suella Braverman