Budget: UK to invest £850m to protect museums, galleries, libraries and local culture
Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced the government will be investing £850m to protect museums, galleries, libraries, and local culture.
He said: “Levelling up is also about protecting our unique culture and heritage: The British Museum, Tate Liverpool and the York Railway Museum”.
The Culture Secretary, Nadine Dorries, has guaranteed that over 100 regional museums and libraries will be renovated, restored and revived.
Sunak announces that up to £2m has been secured to start work on a new Beatles attraction on the Liverpool waterfront.
On top of this, he says the government will be reviewing museum freedoms and make creative tax reliefs more generous.
He said: “On current plans, the tax relief for museums and galleries is due to end in March next year, just as exhibitions are starting to tour again. So I’ve decided to extend it, for two years, to March 2024.”
“To support theatres, orchestras, museums and galleries to recover from Covid. The tax reliefs for all those sectors will – from today until April 2023 – be doubled. And they won’t return to the normal rate until April 2024. That’s a tax relief for culture worth almost a quarter of a billion.”
Hartwig Fischer, Director of the British Museum, commented: “We are delighted to learn of the additional support that is being made available for museums as part of the Spending Review. Over the coming years significant investment in the British Museum estate is required to maintain appropriate conditions for the collection, improve public access, and ensure long-term sustainability.”
The budget also allocates finances to celebrate the United Kingdom, hoping to promote shared values, culture and institutions.
For instance, there will be £28m to support the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee event in 2022, and £2.8m to enable a UK & Ireland bid for the 2030 FIFA Men’s World Cup, as well as an investment of £25m in UK grassroots community sports facilities, supporting the future of grassroots football.
Aside from culture, Sunak’s ambitious plans to level up extend to implementing local communities by investing in local infrastructure, investing £4.8 billion to the Levelling Up Fund.
The government have allocated £220m UK Community Renewal Fund prospectus launch, providing funding for local areas across the UK in 2021-22 for projects investing in people, communities and businesses.