Dan Jarvis, Mayor of the Sheffield City Region, said: “I welcome the government’s £1.5 billion package of support for the arts and heritage sector, including live music venues. As I have long maintained, this is a sector that is vital not just for our economy but for our spirit as a nation, and which has been hit especially hard by the Coronavirus pandemic.
“Our research shows that arts and cultural organisations in South Yorkshire have suffered an audience loss of nearly four million people. Between April and August, their expected combined income loss is £30 million. In the region’s music industry alone predicted losses due to cancelled shows and events during 2020 are £1.2m.
“I’m pleased that the Government have listened to the pleas from many across the industry for support. I wrote to DCMS back in May to urge them to fill in the financial gap that is affecting our artists, musicians, crew members and tech support teams. In Sheffield alone, the sector contributed £248.12 million to the local economy before COVID and employed an estimated 7,230 people, while supporting a wider network of an estimated 21,000 freelancers.
“Of course, the devil will be in the detail. We especially need to ensure that this funding reaches our smaller local and regional organisations as well as the bigger national ones. The loss of a theatre in a small town is felt more keenly than in London or other big cities. We need to make sure local arts projects, grass root venues and freelancers, who are the backbone of this industry, get the support they need to allow them to build back better and thrive in the future.
“Art, culture, music and heritage can serve as important contributors to recovery and renewal, contributing to healthy and sustainable communities, strong local identities, and vibrant town centres. I will continue fighting for this industry to ensure that the funding announced by the Government reaches all who need it most.”