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Theatre insurance scheme on the way - Dowden

Culture secretary Oliver Dowden has officially revealed the government is working to help the performing arts with a government-backed insurance scheme.

The scheme would operate after the expected theatre full-reopening date on July 19, and would indemnify producers (for example), against losses incurred by mounting major theatre productions that subsequently failed due to the continuing problems forced by the global pandemic.

Earlier this week Dowden told Parliament the government would probably step-up should commercial insurers fail to offer cover. He was criticised by his Labour shadow Jo Stevens, who asked why the government hadn't already announced such help, even though the Treasury had been asked about it in March.

“I have said all along," he said, "the first step is to get all the other restrictions removed. At that point, if commercial insurance providers cannot insure for that, we will look at whether we can extend insurance with some sort of government-backed scheme.” He admitted that at present no concrete proposals have been made.

Dowden said the government was making “good progress” towards full reopening on July 19.

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