To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will bring forward proposals to grant (a) music venues, (b) community sporting venues and (c) semi-professional sports clubs temporary charitable status for the purpose of donations during the covid-19 outbreak.
10 July 2020
It is not within DCMS’s gift to grant charitable status on a temporary basis and there are no plans to widen the definition of charity. Some music venues, community sporting venues and amateur sports clubs already qualify for charitable status and can therefore benefit from gift aid on donations. In England and Wales, charitable status is dependent on meeting the definition of a charity set out by Parliament in the Charities Act 2011. The advancement of arts, culture or amateur sport for the public benefit are determined to be charitable purposes within scope of the Charities Act 2011. To meet the definition of charity, organisations must exist for public benefit rather than private benefit. Further detail is set out in the Charity Commission’s Guidance on ‘Charitable Purposes’.
Arts and sporting organisations can benefit from the broad range of support the Government has made available to support organisations through the crisis, including the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme. In addition to the £750 million funding package the Government has provided specifically for voluntary, community and social enterprise organisations, the Government has unlocked £150 million from dormant bank and building society accounts, part of which will provide emergency loans for civil society organisations and improve the availability of fair, affordable credit to people in vulnerable circumstances.
The Government has also provided more targeted provision to support arts and sporting organisations through the crisis. On the 5th July, the Government announced a £1.57bn targeted rescue package to protect the arts, cultural and heritage industry. This represents the largest one off investment in culture, and will include investment in music venues to ensure future sustainability of the sector. Sport England has provided up to £210m of funding to support community and grassroots clubs facing financial challenges over the period of the COVID-19 crisis. This includes £35m of public funding under the banner of Community Emergency Funding (CEF) available to community clubs.