Liverpool’s famous Cavern Club, Bristol’s Old Vic theatre and the London Symphony Orchestra are among more than 1,300 arts venues and organisations to receive up to £1 million each as a share of £257 million of state funding.
The tranche of cash is part of the Government’s £1.6 billion Culture Recovery Fund, and will “protect these special places” which “form the soul of our nation”, said Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden.
The funding will help performances to restart, assist venues to plan for reopening, protect jobs and create freelance opportunities, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport. (DCMS) said.
Monday’s recipients are venues and organisations who applied for less than £1 million, with future releases of up to £3 million going to larger organisations in the future, it added.
The Cavern Club, which launched the career of The Beatles, is currently closed down due to increasing coronavirus transmission rates in Liverpool.
Other venues in line for a boost include Beamish Living Museum in County Durham, the Northcott Theatre in Exeter and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield, the DCMS said.
Sir Nicholas Serota, the chairman of Arts Council England, which is distributing the money, said: “Theatres, museums, galleries, dance companies and music venues bring joy to people and life to our cities, towns and villages.
“This is a difficult time for us all, but this first round of funding from the Culture Recovery Fund will help sustain hundreds of cultural spaces and organisations that are loved and admired by local communities and international audiences.”
He said further funding will be announced later this month.
Mr Dowden said: “This funding is a vital boost for the theatres, music venues, museums and cultural organisations that form the soul of our nation.
“It will protect these special places, save jobs and help the culture sector’s recovery.
“These places and projects are cultural beacons the length and breadth of the country – from the Beamish museum in County Durham to the Birmingham Royal Ballet and the Bristol Old Vic.”
The announcement comes after Rishi Sunak was accused of an “incredibly insulting” attitude towards the arts by frustrated workers currently unable to earn an income.
The Chancellor was criticised last week when, during an interview about the effect of the pandemic on people working in the arts, he spoke about the need to “adapt” and suggested there would be “fresh and new opportunities” available for those who could not do their old jobs.
But Mr Sunak has denied he was suggesting people in the struggling creative industries should retrain and find other jobs after coronavirus left them unable to work.
According to Arts Council England, the arts and culture industry contributes more than £10 billion a year to the UK economy, with £3 spent on food, drink, accommodation and travel for every £1 spent on theatre tickets.