Policy Review: cultural policy responses to Covid-19 in the UK. Version 1 October 2020

Author(s):*Listed Alphabetically
Wright J

Year of Publication:

Centre for Cultural Value

Publication Type:


This policy review by the Centre for Cultural Value looks at governmental cultural policy responses to the Covid-19 pandemic across the UK and reflects on how these measures might shape the future of the cultural sector.

This research aimed to produce a rapid review of the four UK governments’ cultural policy responses to the global pandemic. They implemented a rapid review methodology in order to capture the rapidly changing and often unpredictable decisions made by governments and the sector responses. The key findings reveal the differences in the approach of the four nations, with Westminster signaling a focus on maintaining national institutions and organisations, whereas, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and to an extent Wales, have focused on supporting individuals.

The review shows there is emerging evidence that the crisis has exacerbated inequalities within both the cultural sector and wider society. It also finds that the majority of cultural policy decision-making has centred on economic relief for certain parts of the sector. However, both the Scottish and Welsh Governments are increasingly turning to policies that look to the future, beyond the immediate Covid-19 crisis, to integrate culture with wellbeing and with the health and education sectors.

Similarly, new forms of artistic and cultural activity are developing through virtual formats including digital film commissioning, online artist-led art markets and non-venue based digital content creating. These developments raise questions of accessibility and audience participation which will also require future research.

Evidence Type: Policy Document

Research Purpose: Discussion / Debate

Context: Community

Participant Group: Adults

Art Forms: Multi-Arts

Access Type: Free Download

APA Citation:

Wright, J. (2020). Policy Review: cultural policy responses to Covid-19 in the UK. Version 1 October 2020. Leeds: Centre for Cultural Value.