Financial boost for arts and culture welcomed

Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has given a warm welcome to news that Moray’s arts and heritage sector could be in line for a significant financial boost.

The Conservative MSP was responding to the UK Government’s announcement that £97m is being made available to Holyrood as a rescue package to help cultural organisations weather the impact of the Covid crisis.

Among those eligible for emergency grants and loans are the performing arts and theatres, heritage, historic palaces, museums, galleries, live music and independent cinema.

Mr Halcro Johnston said: “Moray hosts a wealth of creative and heritage activity which reflects our distinctive culture, and which attracts thousands of visitors every year.

“However, the loss of much of the summer season poses a grave threat to the financial sustainability of much of the sector notwithstanding the huge commitment of the UK Government’s job retention scheme which is currently underwriting the costs of many businesses here.

“This further financial support is a very welcome recognition of how important it is that we do everything possible to sustain our cultural, arts and heritage organisations, whether large or small, get through this very difficult time.”