This past week, we have updated our COVID-19 reports from the United Kingdom, Belgium and the Netherlands. The most significant development has been the additional EUR 1.75 billion for the cultural sector in the UK to help it cope with the impact of the COVID-19 crisis and lockdown. The announcement came after lobbying from the sector regarding its alarming situation: institutions such as the Royal Albert Hall, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and the Old Vic theatre are among those who had indicated they were on the verge of permanent closure. The additional package from the government is welcomed, but concerns remain that it is insufficient to meet the full needs of the sector.
The COVID-19 report of Belgium now features all governmental measures for the Wallonia- Brussels Federation and the Walloon Region, including emergency funds, loans and sector-specific actions. In the Netherlands, the temporary Kickstart Culture Fund has been launched. More than EUR 16 million was raised by the BankGiro Lottery and private funds, intended to provide financial support to adjust cultural venues to the ‘social distancing society’.