14 August 2020 Business and economy

The impact of easing of lockdown restrictions on indoor venues

Yesterday the government announced that theatres, indoor venues and beauty salons, as well as soft play areas, bowling alleys and casinos can start to reopen from Saturday 15 August.

These new guidelines mean that indoor venues can begin to reopen safely with physical distancing measures and PPE in place. 

Reduced number in venues

While these guidelines are good news for some, many of our smaller venues will struggle to manage with physical distancing restriction in place and reduced numbers.

It’s been nearly five months since many had to shut down completely in March and there has been limited grant support available.

Some managed to benefit from one of the government’s business grants or the small discretionary fund allocated to Brighton & Hove City Council, but many have not been eligible or the grants have not be enough to sustain them.

Live events and linked services account for around 40% of Brighton & Hove’s economy. Therefore any impact to our arts and creative sector is significant for the whole city.

Financial support is still available

I would encourage any venues that are struggling to either apply for the small business grants or for funding from the Arts Council. But you will need to be quick as the deadlines are approaching in the next two weeks.

Small business grants

Around 500 small businesses in the city still haven't claimed a small business grant. If you think you may be eligible, please contact us before the 26 August so we have time to meet the government deadline.

Find out if you are eligible for a small business grant

Culture Recovery Fund: grants programme 

Commercial and charitable cultural organisations in England who are facing financial difficulty as a result of Covid-19 can now apply for funding from the Arts Council

Round one is open until Friday 21 August. Round two is open from 21 August, until Friday 4 September.

Apply now for financial support from the Culture Recovery Fund   

Wash your hands, keep your distance and wear a face covering

While the easing of these restrictions is an indication that we are all playing our part, it’s vital that we do not get complacent and that safety remains our top priority.

I want to remind everyone that we are still not back to normal. Please continue to wash your hands regularly, keep your distance from those outside your household, and for everyone who is able to, to wear a face covering in enclosed public spaces.

If you develop any symptoms of Covid, please arrange a test immediately and you (and all members of your household whether they have symptoms or not) must self-isolate until you get the test result. Go to www.nhs.uk/coronavirus or call 119.

Thank you again to everyone who has been following the guidelines to help stop the spread of the virus and support a healthier, stronger, safer city.

Councillor Tom Druitt, 
Joint Deputy Chair of the Policy & Resources Committee

More information

  • Indoor music, theatre and performance venues can reopen with socially distanced audiences
  • Wedding receptions for up to 30 guests can be permitted
  • Soft play areas, bowling alleys and casinos are allowed to reopen with restrictions
  • ‘Close contact’ facial beauty services are allowed with appropriate PPE in place
  • Conference and sporting pilots will take place with social distancing in place

It was also announced that the fines for wearing a face masks will be increased for repeat offenders.
Anyone who refuses to wear a face covering, and is not exempt, will receive a £100 fine, which can be reduced to £50 if paid within 14 days.

Have a look at the latest advice and guidance around Covid-19 from the government.

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