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West Midlands calls on government to fund arts

Published: 3 July 2020
Reporter: Steve Orme

Call for support: measures taken by West Midlands’ arts organisations Credit: Verity Milligan

Arts organisations in the West Midlands have written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden calling for “investment and funding” in the arts and a “revision of guidelines to provide clarity and permission for work to restart”.

The letter has been signed by Erica Love on behalf of the West Midlands Culture Response Unit which aims to “ensure the visibility, viability and recovery of the arts and cultural sector in the West Midlands”.

WMCRU said the gradual relaxation of the lockdown because of the coronavirus pandemic was having a “disastrous impact on the lives of individuals and organisations working in the arts and cultural sector”.

Newly-published guidelines lacked the “timescales, practicality, clarity and, most importantly, the funding support needed for the sector to survive”.

WMCRU is calling for the staff retention and self-employed scheme to be expanded until organisations are allowed to generate income again.

It is asking the government to provide “clarity, guidance and resources NOW in order to help us to deliver connecting, healing and uplifting creative activity for our country”.

The full text of the letter is available at the WMRCU web site.