Arts bodies have received almost £50m in emergency grants from Arts Council England

This is part of a £160m package to mitigate the effects of the pandemic on the arts sector

The Arts Council England has handed out almost £50m in emergency grants to help arts organisations through the Covid-19 pandemic.

The funding is part of a £160m emergency response package designed to help alleviate the pressures faced by artists, creative practitioners, arts organisations, museums and libraries during the crisis and in its aftermath.

The national arts body said that £64.8m of the emergency response package had been awarded to 7,484 people, including £47.7m awarded to 2,182 organisations that were outside of its national portfolio of supported organisations.

It said that more than £5.9m had been given to 245 disability-led organisations and £9.3m to 395 black and minority ethnic-led organisations.

The grants range in size from £500 to £40,000.

An additional £4m has been distributed to a series of benevolent funds supporting cultural workers, including musicians, stage technicians and conservators. 

ACE said that many applicants from under-represented groups were receiving Arts Council funding for the first time, and it aimed for diversity and inclusion to underpin the guidance for its emergency response package. 

Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of ACE, said that the financial support would help to “protect and sustain a cultural sector that can be a catalyst for national renewal as we emerge from this crisis”.

ACE said it would be moving into the “stabilisation phase” of its planning, in which its main aim was to support the sector to reopen when it was safe to do so, adapt business models and build the capability to operate in a changed environment. 

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