The Government’s £1.57 billion support package for the arts will benefit the economy as well as the country’s “emotional intelligence”, the chairwoman of Shakespeare’s Globe theatre has said.
Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced the lifeline following warnings the ailing arts sector was in danger of not surviving the coronavirus pandemic.
Theatres, museums and galleries had been forced to close to halt the spread of Covid-19, virtually wiping out their income streams.
The Government said its support package would “protect” the future of the arts sector, with emergency grants and loans available.
Margaret Casely-Hayford, chair of the board of trustees at the Globe, said the Government’s investment will pay dividends in multiple ways.
She told the PA news agency: “I know there are talks about grants and loans but I think whatever it is, it’s an investment in the arts because the arts pay back hugely in the economy, jobs and the emotional intelligence of all of us. The arts really do payback, so it is an investment.”
The Government was warned in May the Globe faced the risk of closing its doors due to the catastrophic financial impact of the pandemic.
Ms Casely-Hayford compared the health crisis to a “flotilla” of black swan events, a term used to describe hard to predict and unforeseen events.
She said: “As the person in charge of the business side of things you think to yourself, ‘well, we have to plan and risk manage and there might be a black swan event at some point,’ and you’ve got to be prepared just in case of that.
“This is a flotilla of swans, all black, really scary. But we have to try and keep them as well managed as we possibly can. And not be overwhelmed by it.”