ISM comments on government's announcement of £257m for arts organisations from Culture Recovery Fund

Responding to the latest announcements about the government’s Culture Recovery Fund, the Incorporated Society of Musicians’ Chief Executive, Deborah Annetts, said:

‘While we welcome funding from the government for the arts, today’s announcements are insufficient to stimulate a ‘cultural bounceback’. Arts venues and performers need support that makes it financially viable to reopen within social distancing safety requirements. That is why the ISM is campaigning with the Musicians Movement to #MakeMusicWork and calling for the creation of a new Freelance Performers Support Scheme. Containing both a cultural exemption on VAT for tickets and a guaranteed fee for each performer, this proposal puts freelancers at the heart of a sustainable funding model for venues. With musicians' livelihoods on the line, we are calling on the UK government to truly provide a ‘vital boost for the…culture sector’s recovery’ by implementing funding that doesn’t just help the arts survive, but enables them to thrive once again.

‘Until the music sector can fully go back to work, freelancers need a bridging scheme. Therefore, the government should deliver on its pledge to ensure parity between employees and the self-employed by maintaining the existing level of support provided by the Self Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS) and expanding the eligibility criteria. The UK music industry relies on world-leading talent to make a huge contribution to our economy and global influence, so it is vital that measures are put in place to help freelancers until they can fully return to work.’

Notes to Editors

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden discussed the 'cultural bounceback' recently and earlier today added: '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.'
More information
is available about the Freelance Performers Support Scheme and the Self Employment Income Support Scheme.
For more information about #MakeMusicWork, please see our press release.
The ISM responded to the Chancellor's 'Winter Economy Plan'.

About the ISM

The Incorporated Society of Musicians (ISM) is the UK's professional body for musicians and a nationally-recognised subject association for music. Since 1882, we have been dedicated to promoting the importance of music and protecting the rights of those working in the music profession.

We support over 10,000 music professionals across the UK and Ireland with our unrivalled legal advice and representation, comprehensive insurance and specialist services. Our members come from all areas of the music profession and from a wide variety of genres and musical backgrounds.

We campaign tirelessly in support of musicians’ rights, music education and the profession as a whole. We are a financially independent not-for-profit organisation with no political affiliation. This independence allows us the freedom to campaign on any issue affecting musicians.

For more information, please contact [email protected]