How the arts industry is suffering in lockdown

Priceless paintings, normally admired by 15,000 visitors a day have been in lockdown for the past three months, like the rest of the country .

But from next week - London's National Gallery is coming out of exile, Covid-19 safe and so only operating at up to a quarter of capacity.

Gabriele Finaldi, Director, National Gallery said: "It's very exciting for us to open the doors and allow people in." It's a long awaited reopening for the boss and his staff. And while the gallery's fortunate much of its funding is from the government, it has to find the rest - and lockdown's made that impossible. They're at risk of collapse unless they're thrown a lifeline.

London's National Gallery Director speaks to Sejal Karia. Credit: ITV News

The UK's arts industry contributes more than £32.3 billion a year to the economy, employing around 2 million people. But 68% have been furloughed during the pandemic - the second highest number of any workforce in the country, ITV News spoke to out of work musicians, who are now back to busking on the streets to help make ends meet. Karl Mullen said: "It's been a bit of a nightmare to be honest, I've missed the gigs massively. I've missed playing with other people, I've missed the social side of my job.

"It's been absolutely devastating," Ali Lawrence added. "I'm quite fortunate that I'm a busker and I can just do ad hoc."

The government says it's doing all it can to help - including providing much needed financial support and that it's looking at other ways it can assist further.