Since lockdown began in March, the UK arts and heritage sector has been under immense financial pressure, resulting in over 400 UK grassroots music venues at risk of permanent closure.

Following numerous open letters (the most recent one was signed by over 1000 artists), the UK government has finally responded with some good news.

Last night (5 July), Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden announced a £1.57billion "emergency support package" to help the "cultural, arts and heritage institutions weather the impact of coronavirus."

The £1.57billion support package will be split between music venues, independent cinemas, museums, galleries, theatres and heritage sites, with £880m in grants and £270m of repayable loans.

A further £100million will be put aside for national cultural institutions in England and the English Heritage Trust.

Speaking about the emergency support package, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said the money "will help safeguard the sector for future generations, ensuring arts groups and venues across the UK can stay afloat."

Dowden added, "Our arts and culture are the soul of our nation. They make our country great and are the lynchpin of our world-beating and fast-growing creative industries. I understand the grave challenges the arts face and we must protect and preserve all we can for future generations."

Music Venue Trust, who launched the #saveourvenues campaign in April, welcomed the government support package. The CEO of Music Venue Trust, Mark Davyd, said of the package, "Music Venue Trust warmly welcomes this unprecedented intervention into Britain’s world class live music scene. We’d like to thank the Secretary of State and the team at DCMS for the opportunity to work closely together throughout this crisis to develop genuine solutions to the challenges faced by grassroots music venues. This fund provides the opportunity to stabilise and protect our vibrant and vital network of venues and gives us the time we need to create a plan to safely reopen live music."

Donate to the #saveourvenues campaign at saveourvenues.co.uk.