Budget: Double tax relief for theatres and museums

Cultural reliefs - corporation tax reliefs for theatre productions, concerts and exhibitions - are to be doubled in a temporary measure announced in yesterday’s budget.

It is one of several measures affecting the arts announced by Rishi Sunak, and will run until April 2023 to give institutions time to recover momentum following the lockdown losses.  

There is also to be temporary business rates relief for venues with up to £110,000 in the financial year ending in March 2023 - Theatre Tax Relief (TTR), Orchestra Tax Relief (OTR), and Museums and Galleries Exhibition Tax Relief (MGETR) will be improved.

As reported in AI on Tuesday there is also to be an £850m maintenance support fund for museums, libraries and heritage institutions.

“We are delighted to learn of the additional support that is being made available for museums as part of the spending review” said the British Museum’s director, Hartwig Fischer. “Over the coming years significant investment in the British Museum estate is required to maintain appropriate conditions for the collection, improve public access, and ensure long-term sustainability.”

Small and medium sized creative enterprises are to get an extra £14m a year, along with all other government departments DCMS is to have an upgrade in its Treasury allocation.

However, there is to be no change in the VAT rate on tickets which had been called for, which is due to rise to 20% from 5% during lockdown, and there is no response to calls for. £90m arts premium for arts in schools, promised in Johnson’s 2019 manifesto.

Caroline Norbury, CEO of the Creative Industries Federation, said the budget announcements were an acknowledgment of the importance of the sector to UK life and the economy, “supporting the cultural sector when most needed” she said.

“However” he continued “the limited expansion of R&D tax relief - which continues to exclude many in our sector - is disappointing, as is the missing arts premium, an election manifesto commitment made only two years ago.

“The creative industries have the power to drive economic growth and regeneration across our country, and creative skills are vital for a future-proof workforce. Just as important as preserving our rich cultural heritage is recognising the crucial role our films, television, music, fashion and games and world leading talent in front of and behind the cameras play in shaping our future economic success and recovery.”

There is also £2m in the budget for a Beatles museum to be built on Liverpool’s waterfront, joining The Beatles Story, the Cavern Club and the Liverpool Beatles Museum. Liverpool's metro mayor Steve Rotheram said the proposed venue, The Pool, was "not a museum" but "an immersive experience".

And the Queens platinum jubilee festival in 2022, now named UNBOXED, hs been allocated £28m in support funding.


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