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 3rd November – Coronavirus bulletin 20201103. Anything additional, or updates to the information contained in the DCMS bulletin, is listed below.
Latest government information
Latest information and advice (6th November)
New national restrictions from 5 November (3rd November)
Extension to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (5th November)
The chancellor announced yesterday that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) will now run until the end of March. For claim periods running to January 2021, employees will receive 80% of their usual salary for hours not worked, up to a maximum of £2,500 per month. The £2,500 cap is proportional to the hours not worked. Employers will have to pay NI and pension contributions. Flexible furloughing, in regard to the hours and days staff work, will continue.
The Job Support Scheme will be postponed, and the Jobs Retention Bonus (JRB) will not be paid in February. The government will redeploy a retention incentive at the appropriate time. The purpose of the JRB was to encourage employers to keep people in work until the end of January. However, as the CJRS is being extended to the end of March 2021, the policy intent of the JRB falls away.
In addition, workers who were made redundant in advance of the planned end of the furlough scheme on 31st October can be rehired under the furlough extension. The relevant section 2.4 in the policy paper reads “Employees that were employed and on the payroll on 23rd September 2020 who were made redundant or stopped working for their employer afterwards can be re-employed and claimed for. The employer must have made a PAYE Real Time Information (RTI) submission to HMRC from 20th March 2020 to 23rd September 2020, notifying a payment of earnings for those employees.”
Full guidance for the CJRS extension will be published on 10th November.
Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension (5th November) The Self-Employment Income Support Scheme will be increased, with the third grant covering November to January calculated at 80% of average trading profits, up to a maximum of £7,500.
National restrictions: Financial support for jobs and businesses (2nd November)
Summary of new support announced, including grants for businesses in retail, leisure and hospitality sectors forced to close due to restrictions, and backdated cash grants for businesses in Tier 2 and 3 areas.
Association of Independent Museums
AIM Hallmarks Grants – A new round of AIM’s Hallmarks grants has been launched; this year grants of up to £10,000 are available to support AIM members address the new Tackling Inequality Hallmark. Deadline 31st January 2021.
HR Support – AIM members can access free HR support from their partner The HR Dept.
The Architectural Heritage Fund – Cultural Recovery Fund
This programme aims to help previously sustainable organisations that care for, work with, or manage historic buildings to fund consultancy support to develop new operating models and business plans, where the impact of COVID-19 means the organisation is at risk of no longer trading viably by March 2021. It will provide funding which will enable organisations to achieve a clear plan towards future financial viability and help them remain resilient in a demanding external environment. The deadline for applications is Monday 9th November.
National Lottery Heritage Fund – Responding to coronavirus – Project funding will resume in November 2020 (4th November)
Beginning 25th November, NLHF will resume accepting applications for grants from £3,000-£10,000 and £10,000-£100,000. This will provide some much-needed financial assistance, particularly to those heritage sector organisations who have, so far, been unable to access COVID-19 emergency funds. They will be looking for projects with a particular emphasis on organisational resilience and inclusion.
From 8th February 2021, NLHF will resume accepting applications for grants from £100,000-£250,000 and £250,000-£5m.
Find out more in this blog from their CEO, Ros Kerslake.
Free crowdfunding campaign for Institutional Members – As part of #SupportOurMuseums, a new UK-wide campaign to support museums as they face the huge challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, if your museum is a Museums Association member, you can take part and launch a crowdfunding campaign. Crowdfunder have waived all their fees, so this is free and every penny donated will go straight to your museum.
Redundancy Hub – Provides support and resources for people going through redundancy. Also includes a redundancy tracker and organisational and employment FAQs.
Art Fund – Take part in a survey about the challenges you may be facing (2nd November)
For a reminder of resources on caring for buildings and collections whilst closed, or on producing digital content, see our blog post from earlier in the week.
To look back at any of our previous blog posts and their links, find them on our website using the search term ‘coronavirus’.