Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has vowed to protect the arts from being “destroyed" in his first newspaper interview in the role.
However, he has also warned that institutions will be asked to make “very difficult decisions”.
Speaking to the Evening Standard, Dowden said he is currently in "intricate discussions" with the treasury to negotiate a scheme to keep the cultural sector from bankruptcy. According to the interview, the deal is almost done.
“I am not going to stand by and see our world-leading position in arts and culture destroyed,” Dowden told the Standard.
He added: "Of course I want to get the money flowing. I am not going to let anyone down."
The government has been under increased pressure from theatre figures and institutions to provide more support for the sector, with the Society of London Theatre and UK Theatre warning that more than 70% of venues will run out of money by the end of the year.
In the interview, Dowden said: “I’ve always found the chancellor and his team very engaged and understanding about the value of this sector.
"Not everyone is going to be happy with whatever comes up. I’m going to have to ask institutions to take difficult decisions."
Dowden described the Covid-19 crisis as a "temporary thing" and said the government does not want to permanently lose cultural institutions.
He described the arts as central to “the strength, resilience and reputation of London", adding "we would be absolutely crazy to throw it away”.
The culture secretary said that theatres would not be able to function properly while two-metre social distancing is in place, adding: “Of course we are not going to have anything like what we had before until we are able to safely ease social distancing."