VENUES in Somerset turned red yesterday in support of a campaign calling for support for the arts during the coronavirus pandemic.

The nationwide #LightItInRed campaign, launched by the arts sector to highlight the plight of the industry, which is among the most severely hit by the crisis.

Social distancing and the banning of public gatherings has hit the industry hard.

Theatres and other entertainment venues were among the first to close when the outbreak began - and fear they will be among the last to re-open due to the nature of the industry.

The Tacchi-Morris Arts Centre in Taunton and the Pyramid Stage at Worthy Farm, home of the Glastonbury Festival, were among the Somerset venues to take part.

"Here’s hoping the £1.5bn announcement on Wednesday goes far and deep enough," the Tacchi-Morris centre tweeted.

The legendary Pyramid Stage at Pilton was turned red by Somerset-based firm Fineline Lighting.

They said in a tweet: "We are so proud to have been invited to light the Pyramid Stage for #LightItInRed.

"We're highlighting the plight of our industry and state the supply chain is in."

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The campaign came after the Government this week announced a £1.57 billion support package to "protect" the future of Britain's museums, galleries and theatres.

Independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues are also eligible for the emergency grants and loans.

The Government said: "Repayable finance (for the loans) will be issued on generous terms tailored for cultural institutions to ensure they are affordable."

Arts Council England, the Royal Opera House, the Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre, and the Music Venue Trust were among those to welcome the funding.

Guidance for a phased return of the performing arts sectors is expected to be published by the Government shortly.

The package comes after some theatres - which are not yet able to stage live performances - closed down, making staff redundant, amid the pandemic.

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Museums have also said they face an uncertain future, while 1,500 artists and acts signed a letter to Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden calling for a road map for the live music industry.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: "From iconic theatre and musicals, mesmerising exhibitions at our world-class galleries to gigs performed in local basement venues, the UK's cultural industry is the beating heart of this country.

"This money will help safeguard the sector for future generations, ensuring arts groups and venues across the UK can stay afloat and support their staff whilst their doors remain closed and curtains remain down."

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