Small theatres will have their business rates slashed by 100% for the next year as part of emergency measures announced in the government’s Budget 2020 to cushion the impact of the coronavirus on the UK economy.
Other measures that will affect the industry include faster access to benefits for self-employed workers and a temporary Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme.
Announcing the Budget today (March 11), chancellor of the exchequer Rishi Sunak warned that the coronavirus is likely to “have a significant impact” on the UK economy, with up to a fifth of the working population expected to be off work at one time as well as a resulting reduction in consumer spending.
Sunak announced that, as a result, for the forthcoming financial year business rates will be slashed for companies in the leisure and hospitality sector with a rateable value of less than £51,000, including theatres, art galleries and museums.
Key coronavirus-response measures that will affect theatre organisations:
Key coronavirus-response measures that will affect theatre workers:
In the wider Budget, the government also confirmed a previously announced £250 million Cultural Investment Fund for culture, heritage, local museums, and neighbourhood libraries. Of this, £90 million will be made available from April for a Cultural Development Fund that will support cultural regeneration proposals outside London.
Sunak also confirmed £500 for a Youth Investment Fund to build new youth centres and refurbish existing facilities.