Grassroots music venues and arts organisations are reportedly required to publicise a government campaign in order to access vital rescue grants.
The money comes courtesy of the Cultural Recovery Fund, which saw the government pledging £1.57 billion to save the beleaguered sector earlier this year.
However, The Independent claims to have seen confidential documents which show that organisations have agreed to publicise the government’s ‘Here For Culture’ campaign on social media in order to receive the funding.
Speaking to the publication, one recipient said it was “somewhat galling to be forced to essentially thank the government for funds to bail us out of the situation they have put us into”.
Today the Cultural Recovery Fund awards its first round of funding to 1,385 organisations.
Spanning theatre, dance, music and more the awarded amount is over £250million.
— Rishi Sunak (@RishiSunak) October 12, 2020
The official documents reportedly say: “We require you to welcome this funding on your social media accounts (using #HereForCulture).”
Arts groups were subsequently told they must mention the grant on their website using the official Here For Culture logo.
Confirming the reports, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “It is perfectly reasonable that organisations receiving money from the Culture Recovery Fund were asked to publicly accredit the government funding and alert local media.”
But Shadow Culture Secretary Jo Stevens said it was “deeply insulting”.
“It’s taken more than 100 days for the government to confirm recipients with the actual money not likely to arrive for several weeks yet. A government confident in itself would not make this a requirement,” she said.
It was confirmed earlier this week that influential grassroots venues, including Liverpool’s The Cavern Club and Southampton’s The Joiners, were among the spaces to receive funding.
They are among 1,385 theatres, museums and cultural organisations across England which have benefitted from a £257million grant.