Wed, 20 May 2020
The Corn Exchange Newbury
Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden has announced the appointment of Neil Mendoza as the new Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal to give independent advice on how UK culture and heritage can begin the road to recovery from the pandemic.
Venues have been closed across the country since March, with staff furloughed, including Newbury's Corn Exchange, Arlington Arts and The Watermill theatre, causing them severe financial pressure as their audience income was cut off overnight.
A renewal taskforce of the ‘brightest and best’ from the arts, cultural and sporting sectors has also been set up to advise the government on getting the creative industries back and running, it includes:
Tamara Rojo (English National Ballet)
Alex Scott (former England international and Arsenal footballer and now a sports broadcaster)
Sir Nicholas Serota (Arts Council England chairman)
Edward Mellors (Mellors Group Events)
Neil Mendoza (Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal, Entrepreneur, publisher and philanthropist)
Lord (Michael) Grade (TV executive and former chairman of BBC and ITV)
Baroness (Martha) Lane-Fox of Soho (Founder of LastMinute.com)
Mark Cornell (Ambassador Theatre Group)
Mr Dowden said that local, regional and national institutions have been trailblazers in coming up with innovative ways to reach audiences during the lockdown.
“We are determined to do all we can to help our sectors that are such an incredible part of British life in their recovery," he said. "The Taskforce is made up of some of the brightest and best from the cultural, sporting and tech worlds.
"Experts in their fields, they’ll be instrumental in identifying creative ways to get these sectors up and running again."
Mr Mendoza will draw on his experience within the cultural sector to garner the strongest, most innovative ideas for its renewal and present them to department of Culture, Media and Sports.
He will initiate a “philanthropic focus” on arts and culture, and help ensure Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England and other bodies work together with the department to develop and deliver support to the sector.