Theatre Royal © Louisa Streeting

Light It In Red illuminates funding fears for arts in Brighton

Arts venues across Brighton & Hove have taken part in the ‘Light It In Red’ campaign to spotlight the ongoing crisis in the UK events industry caused by Covid-19.

650 institutions took part in the event nationwide last night (Mon 6 July), with 21 venues across the city illuminating the fronts of their buildings in red to draw attention to the potentially catastrophic losses in revenue.

Theatre Royal, Brighton Dome, Komedia, Brighton Centre and The Old Market are just some of the local event spaces in danger due to drastic financial loss during the UK lockdown.

This campaign arrived with the government’s announcement yesterday of a £1.57 billion investment pledge to protect Britain’s world-class cultural, arts and heritage institutions.

Emergency grants will be provided to museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues.

Funding will also be allocated to restart construction work at cultural and heritage sites paused as a result of the pandemic.

Without this funding, Brighton’s arts scene would cease to exist as we know it due to the social distancing laws forcing the closure of venues and the cancellation of festivals.

Brighton Dome released a statement on social media: “With news of the Government’s financial investment to safeguard the future of the arts, culture and heritage industries, tonight we join venues across the city and the country in illuminating Brighton Dome red in a message of hope for our sector and solidarity with all freelancers, artists, event staff and businesses who work across it.”

The Brighton Event Professionals Independent Committee (EPIC) helped to facilitate the Light It In Red campaign in Brighton.

Brighton & Hove is home to a thriving arts industry, with live events and festivals generating tens of millions of pounds in revenue for the city each year.

This funding helps to secure the safe return of festivals such as Brighton Fringe, The Great Escape, Brighton Festival and Brighton & Hove Pride.

Alongside the venues, the city employs hundreds of contractors, promoters, suppliers and other workers who are all instrumental in hosting some of the city’s iconic events.

With the government finally answering the calling cry of the arts sector, this emergency lifeline represents the biggest ever one-off investment in UK culture and will help companies stay afloat.

More than 25,000 businesses and over half a million workers are affected nationwide, with over 350,000 people in the recreation and leisure sector on furlough since the pandemic began.

Light It In Red is the latest campaign launched to save the arts industries in the UK due to the devastating impact of coronavirus.

Other UK-wide campaigns #SaveOurVenues and #LetTheMusicPlay have also been heavily publicised in Brighton in a bid to save the music industry from collapse.

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