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4 Mar 2021

Responding to yesterdays Budget announcement, One Dance UK Chief Executive Andrew Hurst MBE said:

We welcome the range of economic support measures announced in Chancellor Rishi Sunak’s Spring Budget today.

Whilst we comb through the details of today’s announcement, we were relieved to hear in particular of the additional £300m to be added to the Culture Recovery Fund, £5 billion for new Restart Grants, business rates relief and of the extension of the Job Retention Scheme, the 5% reduced rate of VAT for tourism and hospitality and the Universal credit top up until September.

The widening of the criteria for those eligible to apply for the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme (SEISS) will also be welcomed by the many freelancers and self-employed workers who make up the rich and diverse fabric of the UK dance sector and who have tragically been falling through the gaps of Government support schemes for a year, since the crisis began. It remains to be seen whether this widened criteria will go far enough.

Coupled with Brexit and the devastating impact of restrictions on mobility across UK and European borders, the UK dance sector, and the wider performing arts and cultural and creative industries, are in a state of crisis and face a long road to full recovery. We look forward to the safe return to dance performance, education and outreach that enrich so many lives. However, in order for this to happen and to ‘build back better’, Government must continue to support the UK dance sector in the long term. We continue to press for an extension of the Theatre Tax Relief Scheme to 50% for the next three years and the introduction of a Government-backed insurance scheme for the performing arts to provide much-needed security in preparation for a safe reopening as soon as possible. We also continue to wait for the Government to deliver on its promise of a domestic fund to replace Creative Europe’s Culture sub-programme, following the UK’s EU Exit.

As the dance sector support organisation, One Dance UK will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of our members and in collaboration with Government and partners across the cultural and creative industries to ensure a safe and strong reopening for dance in the UK.