Exeter Northcott Theatre praises 'world-class' £1.5bn coronavirus rescue package for the arts

Exeter's Northcott Theatre bosses have praised the Government's "world-class" £1.57 billion coronavirus rescue package for the arts industry.

The money will help culture, arts and heritage organisations in Britain - including theatres, cinemas, museums and the live music sector.

A spokesperson for Exeter Northcott said it "comes as a significant relief" as so many arts and heritage organisations find themselves "in a perilous state".

The Government package includes a mixture of loans and grants and has been dubbed the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture.

At Exeter Northcott, it remains unclear what the funding will mean for them - and whether it will be enough to "meet the challenges ahead" - but the team there said they "applaud those involved in devising this world-class response."

It is expected that theatres across the West Country will also welcome the news.

Plymouth's Theatre Royal said 100 jobs were at risk due to the impact of the health pandemic. The iconic venue has received support from high-profile stars across the world including James Corden and playwright James Graham.

In a statement, Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said: “I understand the grave challenges the arts face and we must protect and preserve all we can for future generations… I said we would not let the arts down, and this massive investment shows our level of commitment”.

It has not yet been confirmed how the £1.57 billion will be shared out.

Bristol West MP, Thangam Debbonaire, said it is "welcome news" but ensured she will be making sure the city benefits from the money.

Bristol Old Vic has also responded to the news and said the team there is "delighted".

The announcement has also been welcomed by the Chair of the Arts Council, Sir Nicholas Serota, who said in a statement that the funding is a very significant investment by the government into the future of arts and culture in this country.