Coronavirus: Liverpool City Region launches £400k creative businesses fund

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image copyrightLiverpool Film Office
image captionThe music, film and TV industries contribute £228m a year to the Liverpool City Region's economy

A £400,000 fund has been launched to aid coronavirus-hit creative industries in the Liverpool City Region.

Film and TV-related firms can apply for project investments of up to £25,000.

Grants of up to £5,000 and loans topping that up to £10,000 will be available for the music sector.

David Jones, who runs Presto Music School in Liverpool, said the support would prove "critical" to firms like his and play a key role in protecting the region's "rich musical heritage".

Announcing the support package, metro mayor Steve Rotheram said the industries were "at the beating heart" of the region's identity.

image captionDavid Jones said music "is the livelihood of so many people in our community"

They contribute £228m to the local economy and are responsible for 5,000 jobs "in normal times", he said.

Mr Jones, 47, said his music school had been struggling.

"Some people lost their job and had to cancel lessons," he said.

"All the finances were being reinvested into the school so when the virus hit we were massively affected - it made things very tight.

'Raising spirits'

The school's 40 staff now run remote lessons and exams.

"We've been doing 100-hour weeks... this grant would take the pressure off", added Mr Jones.

"Because we in Liverpool have such a rich creative heritage, music is the livelihood of so many people in our community - we don't want to lose that."

Music is so important for "lifting moods and raising people's spirits" at the moment, he added.

Michael Eakin, who will oversee the music fund, said it "is a very welcome injection of investment into a sector which, like so many others, is really struggling".

Such investment "will put us in a good place to bounce back strongly once this challenging moment is over", he added.