The UK’s so-called “Festival of Brexit” is set to receive £29 million in funding this week, as the government prepares to unveil a new spending review.
The event, which was first touted under Theresa May’s government, is described as a showcase for “the UK’s unique strengths in creativity and innovation” – with comparisons to the 1951 Festival of Britain.
It is set to take place in 2022, with organisers previously launching a call for with “daring, new and popular” ideas that will unite the nation.
While The Mirror reports that the funding will come from a previously announced budget of £120 million, it comes as the government face criticism for a pay freeze for almost 4million workers in the latest spending review.
Under the working title of ‘Festival UK*2022’, organisers are seeking applications for teams who are seeking commissions for the event.
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As The BBC previously reported, the event’s chief creative officer, Martin Green, is looking for “big ideas” that can showcase British innovation to the globe, as well as healing nationwide divides as a result of the UK’s departure from the EU.
Green, who was previously the head of ceremonies at the London 2012 Olympics, said: “This project was conceived to happen after our exit from the EU and acknowledges that we have been going through, and are going through, a divisive time.
“Creativity has always proven itself brilliant at finding more of what we have in common than what we don’t. So the idea that projects can bring people together is a really timely one.”
He added: “Remember, coming together and bringing people together isn’t about asking people all to think and believe the same thing. It’s about understanding each other and appreciating each other’s differences and commonalities.”
Green explained that 30 teams will each receive £100,000 after being commissioned to come up with idea for the event.
Earlier this year, the Music Venue Trust called on the government to cancel the event and use the money to instead secure the future of Britain’s grassroots culture amid the huge financial impact of the coronavirus crisis.