Derbyshire singer Lucy Spraggan slams Government for lack of support for the arts
Famous Derbyshire musician Lucy Spraggan has slammed the Government for its lack of support for the arts during the coronavirus pandemic.
Lucy said she had not received any financial support from the Government during the crisis, despite live music being put on hold with venues forced to close due to lockdown and social distancing restrictions.
In an exclusive interview with your Derbyshire Times, she said: “I haven’t had a single piece of support from the Government.
“Our jobs are among the three least essential, even though music, TV, film, books etc. bring people together – we’re the reason people didn’t go mad during lockdown.
“It’s disgusting, but I wouldn’t expect anything else from the Tory Government.”
She reached the live stage of the television show after performing her own song, Last Night, at the auditions, before withdrawing through illness.
And the former Buxton Community School pupil, who has since released five albums, remains confident of a brighter future as we emerge from lockdown.
Her latest album, Choices, is tipped to reach the top 10 following its release this week and she plans to take the new songs out on tour when restrictions allow.
“Live music will never die,” she said. “It will come back and there will be an opportunity to be back on the road.”
In this week’s Budget, Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced an extra £390 million to help arts venues reopen after the pandemic and extended the furlough scheme and grants for self-employed people.
Greg Parmley, chief executive officer of LIVE, the UK's official industry body for live music, said: “We welcome the additional financial support the Chancellor announced, recognition the live music industry has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic.”
A Government spokesman said: “We appreciate these are tough times for the industry and that is why we have provided unprecedented help for the sector.
“Our £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund has received an extension of £300m, bringing the total invested in helping our music venues and cultural organisations weather the storm of coronavirus to £1.87bn.
“This builds on the support for individuals in the arts through the job-support scheme that has been expanded at the Budget.”