ART venues have welcomed the news of Government support for the sector.

This week the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced a £1.57 billion emergency support package to protect entertainment venues.

Paul Andrews, chairman of the Milton Rooms in Malton, said: “I very much welcome the news of government support for the arts, and am very pleased that money is going to be made available to local arts centres and theatres.

“I do not know yet if this will benefit venues like the Milton Rooms, as I understand the scheme will be administered by the Arts Council and I don’t know what the criteria will be. The Milton Rooms needs funds to continue through difficult times and I would urge everybody who loves the Milton Rooms to make a donation through our gofundme site.”

Martin Vander Weyer, trustee and treasurer of Helmsley Arts Centre (HAC), said they welcomed the ambitious scale of the scheme.

He said: “We’ll be glad to see venues of all sizes supported by the scheme, because theatre everywhere is seriously endangered by the shutdown and so many performers and technicians are unable to earn a living.

“But we worry that small venues like ours will be at the back of the queue, even though we’ll be asking for relatively small sums. And the truth is that it would be even more helpful to have a date when we can plan to re-open for live performances.”

He added: “We’re already able to reopen as a cinema and we’ll be doing that with all the necessary safety precautions in place a few weeks’ time.

“If we could follow on with a live programme of music, comedy and theatre in the autumn, on the same safe basis, that would really put our lovely arts centre back at the heart of Ryedale community life - and that’s where we want to be.”

On Monday, Sheffield City Trust, which runs the Scarborough Spa and Whitby Pavilion, on behalf of Scarborough Borough Council, announced it may be laying off staff due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Cllr David Jeffels, Scarborough Council’s shadow cabinet member for leisure, said that both the Spa and the Pavilion remaining closed was a “big blow” to the holiday industry.

He added: “As a member of the Local Government Association’s Culture and Tourism Board, I have asked that meetings are held with key government ministers to emphasise the importance of our resorts and their facilities being able to operate at full capacity and for funding being made available.”