An independent report has judged that the UK government’s £1.57bn Cultural Recovery Fund during the pandemic was delivered efficiently, helping support nearly 220,000 jobs and 5,000 organisations.
The report, from Ecorys, provides evidence that the Culture Recovery Fund increased the income of supported cultural organisations by 140 per cent during the pandemic. This helped not only to ensure their survival but to bring in audiences in new and innovative ways while organisations were closed or social distancing restrictions were in place.
More than 65 per cent of funding was awarded to organisations outside London, and the report has found that the spending of supported organisations was 37 per cent higher than it would have been in the absence of the programme, resulting in a total of £612 million of additional expenditure.
Cash reserves of supported organisations were also boosted by 188 per cent compared to what they would have been in the absence of the Culture Recovery Fund, meaning that jobs were saved in the sector and organisations were brought back from the brink.
Organisations helped by the Fund include CAST in Doncaster, Birmingham Royal Ballet, and Alexandra Park and Palace.
Since the pandemic, new challenges have emerged for the cultural sector, such as global inflation. This report also argues that, thanks to the fund, recipients were better placed to meet these challenges head-on because of their improved financial positions.
Images: Ecorys report