Chapter welcomes the announcement of the UK Government’s £1.57 billion support package for the arts and creative industries. It is a clear signal of the importance of arts and culture to UK life and will play a vital part in the reopening of cultural institutions across the UK. In Wales this represents support worth £59 million and the challenge now is to ensure that this investment not only reaches Wales’ theatres, galleries, cinemas and museums, but also the huge population of freelance artists and creatives who have been hugely affected by this pandemic.
In recent weeks, many organisations and individuals have worked tirelessly to advocate the importance of the arts and creative industries to our quality of life, the economy and employment. In Wales alone, latest figures indicate the sector generates £2.2 billion in revenue and employs 56,000 people. It’s a massively important industry and one that can now look to thrive again.
We applaud the partnership approach adopted by the sector, and the commitment and passion of its people; thankfully there should now be an industry to speak of, as the UK as a whole moves towards recovery. Through months of lockdown people have been nourished and stimulated by the arts and creativity, be it films, books, exhibitions, music, online theatre and dance performances or comedy. The decimation of a sector that has contributed so much to our wellbeing should not be ignored, and thankfully it hasn’t.
Since lockdown we have retained a small core team to navigate our way through this pandemic. As an arts organisation that earns 82% of its income, the effect on us has been dramatic. With the support of stakeholders, sponsors, foundations and the enormously generous support of our community we have been able to stabilise the company and Save Chapter.
Though we are yet to know the full detail of how these funds will be distributed, we now feel, with a degree of confidence that we can confidently plan to re-open. We will make further announcements on this shortly.
We look forward to welcoming you all back and we will also be working extremely hard to reach out to new audiences, customers and creatives to ensure that we can better serve and represent our community. In 2021 we turn 50 – let’s make it a birthday party to remember!
Many thanks for all your support during these difficult months.
Andy Eagle – CEO Chapter, Chapter team and Board of Management
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