UK Music Information To Businesses On COVID-19

UK Music has collected information from Government and funding bodies for businesses affected by coronavirus.

Across the UK

Lockdown Updates
The implementation of public health measures to control the spread of COVID-19 is a devolved matter, therefore while the UK Government makes the rules for England, in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland their own Governments have the power to make and enforce their own rules.

This guidance is continually changing therefore we would advise that you check the website of your relevant Government. All re-opening workplace must be covid-19 secure and have plans in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The UK Government guidance on this can be found here and the UK Government endorsed music industry guidance can be found here. This applies to England only.

Travellers to the UK (other than from the Republic of Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channel Islands) should self-isolate for 14 days on arrival, however each UK Government has its own list of countries that are excepted from this. 

England here 

Wales here 

Scotland here

Northern Ireland here

General support schemes for businesses are the same across the UK and are set out below, however additional support may be available at a devolved and local level. 

Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme
If you are a business that has been forced to close to the coronavirus pandemic, the Government has launched a Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme to cover a portion of the wages of your workers who were on pay roll as of 19th March, backdated from 1st March. You need to make a claim under this by 1st November, workers can still do some work under this scheme. If the worker is still in employment at the company by January 1st the business may be entitled to a Job Retention Bonus of £1,000. for more information please check here

If you are an employee looking for more information about furloughing and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme and how it might affect you, please check the Government guidance here.

Job Support Scheme (JSS)

Businesses legally required to close due to COVID restrictions can apply for the JSS. This scheme will pay a grant of £3,000 per business per month, and the Government will pay up to 67% of salaries for employees (capped at £2,100 per month). The scheme will open on November 1st for 6 months. 

You can find more information here

Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS)

If you are self-employed you may be able to claim a SEISS grant of up to £6,570 or 70% of your average monthly profits (whichever if lower) if your business has been adversely affected on or after 14 July 2020, and you meet other eligibility criteria including trading in the 2018-2019 tax year, full details are here, but you must apply before October 19th. From November if your business is still being affected you can apply for another grant of up to 20% of average monthly profits capped at £1,875. Further information on eligiblity can be found here

Business Rate Holiday
If you are a business in Retail, Hospitality or Leisure in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland you will be eligible for a full Business Rate Holiday for 2020/2021. This specifically includes live music venues and if your Local Authority deems you eligible they will contact you in due course. If you believe you are eligible and have not been contacted you should get in touch with your Local Authority. This does not apply to businesses with a rateable value of above £500,000 in Wales.

Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme
The Coronavirus Business Interruption Loan Scheme will provide up to 80% cover for loans of up to £5 million from commercial banks to small businesses, interest on these loans will not be due for 12 months. For businesses with a turnover of over £45 million Coronavirus Large Business Interruption Loan Scheme can provide up to £25 million in finance or £50 million for companies with a turnover of over £250 million. This scheme is now open until 30th November here.

Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility
Debt support for larger firms will be provided through the new Covid-19 Corporate Financing Facility, through which the Bank of England will buy short term debt from larger companies. This scheme is now open, you can find the eligibility criteria and an application form here.

Bounce Back Loan Scheme
Support for small businesses that might not meet traditional lending guidelines may be available through the Bounce Back Loan Scheme, this scheme will provide 100% Government guaranteed loans of up to £50,000 for eligible small, to find out more about how to apply please visit here.

Statutory Sick Pay Refund
Small and Medium Businesses will be eligible for a refund for Statutory Sick Pay, if you have fewer than 250 employees as of 28 February 2020, this refund will cover 14 days sick pay for any eligible employee affected by COVID-19 from the day after the regulations on the extension of Statutory Sick Pay to self-isolators comes into force, you should keep a record of absences, but you will not have to provide a GP’s sick note for the employees. This scheme is now open and you can find full application details here.

Even if your company is now insolvent the Government can cover Statutory Sick Pay for your employees if they have or are self-isolating due to Coronavirus. The advice is for the employee to call the Statutory Payment Disputes Team Telephone: 03000 560 630, more details can be found here.

Tax Payments
If you are likely to struggle with tax payments due to coronavirus, HMRC is offering help and support for businesses, including payment plans, suspending debt collection and cancelling penalties and interest when administrative issues arise they can be contacted on 0800 0159 559 (8.00 – 20.00 Mon – Fri, 8.00 – 16.00 Sat, closed Bank Holidays). Find out more here.

Small Business Grant Fund
If you are eligible for Small Business Rate Relief or Rural Rate Relief you will be eligible for a one-off grant of £10,000 from the Small Business Grant Fund, or the relevant devolved fund for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This is for businesses with a rateable property value of up to £15,000 in England and Northern Ireland, £12,000 in Wales and £18,000 in Scotland.

Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund
Businesses in retail, hospitality and leisure with a value of above the small business rateable property value (£12,000 Wal. £15,000 Eng. + NI, £18,000 Scot.) and below £51,000 you will be eligible for a Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grant Fund grant of £25,000 or the same amount from the relevant devolved fund for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

The guidance to businesses for both these funds in England has been issued here.

These schemes, as well as the business rate holiday, will be administered by your Local Authority and they in turn  will be reimbursed by either the UK Government or the relevant devolved Government, you will not have to apply.

Future Fund & Innovate UK
If you are a high growth firm, or focused on research or development in an innovative area of the UK economy you may eligible for additional help either through the Future Fund, that will be open from May to September 2020, or Innovate UK. You can find out more information about the Future Fund eligibility criteria here and the Innovate UK funding here.

For more information about other UK Government supported resources such as webinars and Growth Hubs, please click here.



Lockdown Update
In England if you are an office-based company, retailer or a recording studio, you may return to work if the work place is COVID Secure. Rehearsals and recordings are allowed. Outdoor performances of live music may be performed to socially distanced audiences. Indoor performances are allowed if audiences are socially distanced and the venue does not exceed its COVID capacity (the level at which social distancing can be maintained), organisers are encouraged to hold events out doors where possible. Households may not mix in groups of more than 6. The full guidance which must be adhered to can be found here. Updates will be posted on the website here.

Licenced premises must not sell drinks after 10 pm and must close at 10 pm unless they are a music venue in which case they are allowed to remain open until the end of the performance. 

There are now 3 Tiers of restrictions in England. 

Tier 1 - Medium Risk - National rules apply. 

Tier 2 - High Risk - No social household mixing indoors.

Tier 3 - Very High Risk - No social household mixing, pubs and bars to close unless they serve food. 


You can find more information here

If you are unsure of which tier is in operation in your area please check with your Local Authority.

The Cultural Recovery Fund

The grant  and repayable finance sections of the Cultural Recovery Fund have closed. You can find alternate funding streams here.

National Lottery Project Grants are available year round to those who engage the public in arts and culture in England, you can find out how to apply here.

London Culture at Risk - Business Support Fund
If you are a creative workspace or grassroot music venue in London you may be eligible for a grant through the Culture at Risk - Business Support Fund or you can get tailored service support with applications or mediating disputes through the Culture at Risk Office you can find out more here.



Lockdown Update

From Friday 23rd October 18.00 pm a "Firebreak" Lockdown will be imposed in Wales until November 9th. All non-essential retail and hospitality, including pubs, bars and venues, will be closed along with many local services like libraries and recycling centres. You should work from home if at all possible. Child care will remain open, along with Primary Schools and Secondary Schools for years 7 and 8. People in Wales should remain at home with no social mixing either outside or inside, unless you are a single adult household (or a single parent) in which case you may bubble with one other household. You can find more information here.

Office based work and non-office based inside work is allowed to resume, however other forms of activity are still to be discouraged and people should work from home if possible. Gatherings of up to 30 are allowed outdoors. The advice from Welsh Government on extremely vulnerable people in the Creative Industries is that they should continue to shield. Updates will be posted on the Welsh Government website here, and please find specific guidance for creative industries in Wales here.

Licenced premises must not sell drinks after 10 pm, but have a grace period for drinks to be consumed before closing. 



Connect and Flourish

Arts Council Wales is supporting new ways of engaging people through the pandemic through the "Connect and Flourish" programme, this is a grant of between £500 and £150,000 for ambitous projects that will both connect with the public, can be delivered under current conditions and engage with contermporary issues. This will require a "host" organisation to act as a recipient for funding, you can find more details here. Closes on 4th November. 

You can apply for a place on a "Vitrual Briefing Session" for this fund until October 20th, you can apply here

Please check the Arts Council Wales website (here) for further updates and other ACW funding routes. 

Economic Resilience Fund

Stage 3 of this fund is now open to application, depending on business size grants are available for micro businesses (1-9 employees up to £10,000), SMEs (10-249 employees up to £150,000) and Large Companies (250+, £200,000). However, you will have to match this with 10 - 50% of your own investment. You can check your eligibility here.

Business Grants
For applying for business grants in Wales, please apply through the Business Wales website which you can accessed here.

You can also get additional help, advice and support through the Business Wales, you can find more about the support available for the cultural sector in Wales here, and they can be reached via phone at 030 006 03000.

If you have a loan from the Development Bank of Wales you will not have to make any capital repayments for 3 months.



Lockdown Update
In Scotland non-office based and office based indoor working may resume. Live indoor performances to audiences are not allowed. Updates will be posted on the Scottish Government website here and specific industry guidance can be found here. Drive-in events are now allowed in Scotland, as well as seated outdoor events where 2m social distancing can be maintained up to a limit of 200 people (here), this is not allowed in the 5 Central Belt Health Boards of Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley, If you are in these Health Boards you should check the further restrictions that may apply. Indoor music events remain prohibited across the country. Event guidance can be found here.

Licenced premesis must close at 18.00 pm and must only open as takeaway outlets in the Health Boards of Greater Glasgow & Clyde, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire & Arran, Lothian and Forth Valley, licenced premesis across Scotland may not play background music. 

Business Rate Relief
For more information on how to apply for the Business Rate relief and grant schemes in Scotland, please see the Scottish Government website here.

All properties in Scotland will receive 1.6% in rate relief, effectively freezing the poundage rate next year.

Grant Support
The Scottish Government has announced that a new £2.2 million fund for live music venues will be administered by Creative Scotland (here), more details will follow in due course.

Creative Scotland Open Fund for Organisations
If you are looking at new ways of working or sustaining your business Creative Scotland may be able to help through the Open Fund for Organisations, this is not an emergency support fund but intended to support innovation in the Scottish creative sector through the pandemic, more details can be found here.

Youth Arts Fund

Creative Scotland is running a suite of grant funding for young artists and organisations focused on young people with grants ranging from £5,000 to £50,000 the last of these closes on 12th November and more detail can be found here.

Scottish businesses should contact the Scottish Government Business helpline on 0300 303 0660. The helpline will be open Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.30pm. Find out more here.


Northern Ireland

Lockdown Update

Northern Ireland is in lockdown. You may extend your household to include one other up to a maximum of 10 persons, no overnight stays in private home outside bubbles, you should not be meeting people from outside your household indoors. The hospitality industry will be open for takeaways only, hair and beauty outlets will be closed, no indoor sport at all (other than gyms), and outdoor sport at elite level only. Events are limited to 15 people. You should work from home where possible, university education should be delivered remotely and no unnecessary travel should be undertaken. The full announcement by the Northern Ireland Executive can be found here

You can find general guidance on re-opening the arts here.

Northern Ireland has received £33 million for the arts (here). 

Updates will be posted on the Northern Ireland Executive website here.


While most COVID-19 programmes have a closed for now, there is a Small Grant Programme available for grants of up to £10,000. You can apply here.  There is also a Small Capital Fund currently running until 15th October where eligible organisations can get funding for equipment or minor work here. Priority will be given to applicants who evidence how the granting of their applications will support them in adapting to a COVID-19 influenced environment. 

Business Rates Relief
The Northern Ireland Executive, in addition to the support outlined above, has decided to reduce Business Rates in Northern Ireland for all businesses by 12.5% and freeze domestic rates.For the latest updates on the actions of the Northern Ireland Executive please check here.

The Northern Ireland Housing Executive has announced that the planned rent rise of 2.7% for the homes they run will be delayed until October 2020. More info here.


For more information

Information to self-employed on COVID-19 click here

Information on emergency funding click here

Information if you are in receipt of funding click here

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