Here’s our round up of news about COVID-19 relevant to the sector from this week. These are up to date at the time of posting but please check the original source for any updates.
Most of the relevant news is already included in the DCMS Museums & Galleries Sector Coronavirus bulletin published on 19th October – Coronavirus bulletin 20201019. Anything additional, or updates to the information contained in the DCMS bulletin, is listed below.
Museum reopening guidance
NMDC Good Practice Guidelines (21st October)
Updates are made regularly (and listed at the bottom of the website) as government guidance changes so keep checking the website to make sure you are working to the most recent version. The guidance was updated on 21st October to include further information on the implication of local alert levels for museums, including cafes and restaurants in museums.
Read our blog post here for the full list of guidance and resources around reopening.
Latest government information
Latest information and advice (23rd October)
Changes to the Job Support Scheme (22nd October)
Changes have been announced to the Job Support Scheme to help employers retain their employees. Businesses that are operating but facing decreased demand can get support for wages through JSS Open. Those businesses that are legally required to close their premises as a direct result of coronavirus restrictions set by the government can get support through JSS Closed.
JSS Open will give employers the option of keeping their employees in a job on shorter hours by increasing the scale of support available to employers through JSS Open above what was initially announced, in order to protect more jobs.
The employee will need to work a minimum of 20% of their usual hours and the employer will continue to pay them as normal for the hours worked. Alongside this, the employee will receive 66.67% of their normal pay for the hours not worked – this will be made up of contributions from the employer and from the government. The employer will pay 5% of reference salary for the hours not worked, up to a maximum of £125 per month, with the discretion to pay more than this if they wish. The government will pay the remainder of 61.67%, of reference salary for the hours not worked, up to a maximum of £1,541.75 per month. This will ensure employees continue to receive at least 73% of their normal wages, where they earn £3,125 a month or less.
The Job Support Scheme will be open from 1st November 2020 and run for 6 months, until 30th April 2021. Employers will be able to claim in arrears from 8th December 2020, with payments made after the claim has been approved. Neither the employer nor the employee needs to have benefitted from the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to be eligible for the Job Support Scheme.
Further guidance on the steps that employers need to take to calculate and make a claim to the Job Support Scheme will be published by the end of October.
Working safely during coronavirus – heritage locations (21st October)
Working safely during coronavirus – the visitor economy (21st October)
Coronavirus: How to help safely (15th October)
Updated coronavirus volunteering guidance in line with the new announcements on local COVID alert levels.
Arts Council England
Developing Your Creative Practice
Developing Your Creative Practice has reopened for applications and is aimed at helping artists and creatives take their work to the next level. The budget has been increased from £3.6 million to £18 million, to be distributed through four rounds between October 2020 and October 2021. The deadline for the first round is 5th November.
DYCP will support research, time to create new work, travel, training, developing ideas, networking or mentoring. Applications can be made for between £2,000 and £10,000. The definition of who can apply has been expanded to include performer/creators, arts and cultural educators, community practitioners/engagement specialists, cultural conservators, creative enablers and creative technicians. Applicants also now only need to have had one years’ experience outside of a formal educational setting.
National Lottery Project Grants
National Lottery Project Grants are open for applications. Until April 2021, the fund will focus on the needs of smaller independent organisations and individual practitioners. Supplementary guidance has been published that outlines the changes. The fund will also focus more on activity that gives organisations the time to think, plan and test new ideas. For the first time with this fund, ACE will be able to invest in activity where the route to public engagement may take longer, and may take place beyond the boundaries of the activity you apply for. The usual requirement to provide 10% match funding has been removed.
From 5 October until March 2021, NPOs will also be eligible to apply to National Lottery Project Grants for activities over £15,000.
Culture Recovery Fund: more organisations receive vital support (17th October)
Final list of cultural organisations funded through the Culture Recovery Fund administered by Arts Council England.
National Lottery Heritage Fund (15th October)
Launch of two new programmes to help organisations to increase their capacity and resilience and consider new ways of working, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund:
– Rebuilding Heritage – One-to-one and small group support delivered by the Heritage Alliance. The programme will help participants build confidence, overcome immediate challenges and plan for a sustainable future, with a focus on business planning, fundraising, marketing and communications. Opportunities are being offered on a rolling basis, with bi-monthly deadlines. Apply for the January/February group by 15th December
– Heritage Compass – A programme for small and medium sized heritage organisations in England, delivered by Cause4 in partnership with the Arts Marketing Association and Creative United. It will work with 150 heritage organisations across the next two years to:
- promote skills development
- grow operational knowledge
- strengthen leadership
- diversify funding
- identify solutions to financial and environmental threats
Applications are open until 6th November, and again from 16th November–16th December.
– In Practice – Case studies on how museums are adapting to become Covid-safe
– Redundancy Hub – Provides support and resources for people going through redundancy. Also includes a redundancy tracker and organisational and employment FAQs.
Reports and surveys
Museum Freelance – What’s the Story? Museum Freelance Survey 2020
The results of the first Museum Freelance survey on freelancers and consultants working with museums, galleries, heritage, libraries and archives in the UK, including the impact of Covid-19.
To look back at any of our previous blog posts and their links, find them on our website using the search term ‘coronavirus’.