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Coronavirus (COVID-19): information and signposts to resources that may be helpful to you. Updated 09/04/2020.
Date posted: 09 April 2020

Information about Coronavirus (COVID-19)


UPDATES 09 April 2020


The Prince’s Trust and NatWest Enterprise Relief Fund

The £5million Enterprise Relief Fund will offer grants to 18 to 30-year olds across the UK who are self-employed and/or running their own business. In conjunction with cash grants, the initiative will offer one-to-one support and guidance to anyone who needs it and who may be worried about their future. 


Arts Council England Social Media posts


Round one opens for applications on 9 April 2020 and applicants will need to register on Grantium by 13 April in order to make an application before the deadline of 12pm (midday) 16 April.

 Round two opens for applications on 16 April 2020 and applicants will need to register on Grantium by 27 April in order to make an application before the deadline of 30 April.


On Tuesday 14 April 2020 we’ll launch the first round of applications to a new fund offering support to individuals facing immediate financial difficulty and hardship – our Urgent Response Fund for Individuals. The application guidelines and FAQ document on this fund will be published on our website on Thursday 9 April.


The Bridging Bursary (Arts and Creative) fund is prioritising support to freelance practitioners whose primary source of income comes from their creative work in the not-for-profit sector and to those most in need. We are committed to being as fair as possible, therefore, we have paused requests for our Bridging Bursary (Arts and Creative). This is to allow us to take stock of all of the requests to date and ensure that funds remain for those who require extra time to make their request or those have been unable to make a request this week due to having Covid-19. There will be a second round of requests for funding which will be open from Monday 20 April. Our intention is that this second round will close on Friday 25 April, however we may need to close submissions earlier if demand outstrips the funds we have available in that week.

Northern Ireland:

No update


UPDATES 31 March 2020


Creative Scotland has published application guidance for two funding programmes designed to provide further support to sustain the country’s creative community during the COVID-19 outbreak:

Creative Scotland Bridging Bursary Fund

Open Fund: Sustaining Creative Development


Arts Council England have published application guidance about two funding programmes offered as part of their COVID-19 emergency response package:

Financial support for artists, creative practitioners and freelancers

Financial support for organisations outside of the National Portfolio


UPDATES 27 March 2020


Additional update: This evening Arts Council England published extensive guidance for the arts museums sector about support from the government for individuals and organisations. It is comprehensive and well worth reading. Visit their website for more information.


The UK government has announced an aid package for self-employed people in the UK (all four Nations).

There are still details to be announced about how and when is will be made available however the headlines appear to be:

  • The aid will be made available in the form of a taxable grant of up to 80% of average monthly profits (over three years, or less, depending on how many tax returns you have filed) up to a maximum of £2,500 per month for three months
  • The scheme covers those earning under £50,000 per year (i.e. most of the people reading this page). It will be backdated to March 2020 and paid as a lump sum, but payment will most likely not be until June 2020
  • To qualify you need to be already in self-employment and to have filed a tax return for 2019, and at least 50% of your income has to have come from self-employment (rather than taxed at source PAYE employment)
  • If you have missed the 2019 filing deadline in January 2020 there is a four-week window to submit your information – so act now
  • Our understanding is that if you are newly started out as freelancer – and haven’t filed a tax return for 2019 – you will not be eligible for this scheme. This will be very difficult news for some people
  • Remember that profit is not the same as income. Profit is (basically) calculated after your business expenses have been deducted from your self-employed income
  • Any grant income received through this scheme is taxable and should be declared on the tax return for 2020 (due January 2021).

As previously announced, the next self-assessment tax payment will be deferred until January 2021.


For Wales

 Arts Council Wales’ web page about Covid-19

Take a look at their page to keep up to date with guidance and information for artists and arts organisations in Wales.


For Scotland

 Creative Scotland’s web page about coronavirus

They plan to launch, on 27 March, a repurposed Open Project Fund and a new Bridging Bursary for individuals in immediate need. Both funds aim to enable individuals and organisations to sustain their creative work and practice during these challenging times.


For Northern Ireland

 Arts Council of Northern Ireland’s web page about Covid-19

ACNI has also set up a survey to collect information about the impact on artists and arts organisations, which is accessible from the link above.


For England

 Arts Council England’s web page about Covid-19

On 24 March ACE launched a programme of emergency financial support for National Portfolio Organisations (NPOs), arts organisations outside of the national portfolio and funding for individuals. The fund for individuals will enable individuals working the cultural sector (including artists, creative practitioners and freelancers) to apply for grants of up to £2,500. More guidance about the fund for individuals will be available on 30 March. To apply, potential applicants need to have registered with ACE’s grant application and management system – called Grantium – by Friday 3 April. Please don’t miss out on the opportunity to apply by missing this deadline. Our advice is not to leave this until the last minute as you might not find the system easy to use. Support with registrations will be offered by ACE.


Benefits for freelancers affected by loss of work

If you find yourself in immediate hardship and need through loss of work, you are eligible to apply for state benefits:

Employment and Support Allowance (you have to have paid National Insurance Contributions over 2-3 years) 

Universal Credit (some restrictions to access this have been temporarily lifted and you do not need to attend a job centre)

The HMRC emergency helpline is 0800 0159 559.


UPDATES 20 March 2020

Risk assessments for virtual classes and sessions

As dance artists and teachers find themselves needing to look at different - and for them, often new - ways of presenting their work, we’ve received a lot of questions about virtual and video-based classes and sessions. Here are some useful pointers to help you navigate this.

People Dancing’s Director of Learning Anna Leatherdale – who is also freelance dance practitioner – has recorded this short video about things to consider when risk assessing your online or live streamed classes and staying safe online, based on her own experience of putting this in place. People Dancing’s information sample Risk Assessments and Accident Report Forms are available as downloads at the end of this page.

The insurance benefits provided to Professional Individual Members of People Dancing includes cover for dance teaching work either in person or online such as; virtual, live, pre-recorded classes (subject to the usual risk assessments and general conditions of the policy).

Activities excluded from the insurance provided to Individual Professional Members of People Dancing:

These are:  Yoga; Martial arts (inc. Capoeira); Aerobics; Acrodance; Trapeze; Aerial work; Pole dancing; Stunting; Gymnastics; Zumba with weights; Aqua Zumba. Full time practice of Dance Movement Therapy (DMT) - where this is the main focus of your work - is beyond the scope of cover.

If you are concerned that your planned work may fall within any of the above categories, please refer to People Dancing for clarification. Contact us by phone on 0116 253 3453, Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm or email

Use of personal data / General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) /licensing & security:

Most of the widely used services provided for uploading pre-recorded videos onto are GDPR compliant. We believe this is also true of most of the main live-streaming/video conferencing providers, but we would advise confirming this first – check out service providers’ individuals Terms and Conditions.

If you are running a live stream class or session, we strongly urge you to use a pre-registration system and password protection – and in so doing, retain a ‘class register’ as you would in face-to-face sessions. This enables you to know who is ‘in the room’ and be able to evidence this if ever needed.

Don’t allow participants to record sessions they’re taking part in. If you record a session for your own records ensure you have specific permission from all adults and the parents/guardians of those under 18s. We recommend not uploading and sharing publicly this material on the internet unless this is made explicitly clear when obtaining permissions.

Using pre-recorded music: YouTube and Facebook (including Instagram and Oculus) have licensing agreements with a large number of major and independent labels, with the result that you do not need to get your own personal music licence to deliver via these platforms. However, if you start playing music that has been produced by a company that has not made an agreement with these platforms you may find that the music you are playing is muted and cannot be heard by your audience. People Dancing is working with several other dance membership bodies to ascertain the licensing position in relation to other live delivery platforms and will put updates here. 

What and how this all works may differ for people working in different contexts. This film and these resources are presented as information and signposts to support your work, rather than as comprehensive or expert advice.

Below are links to some FREE and useful tools to help you deliver your work and sustain your practice in the coming weeks:

Technical Support: How to deliver your work online?
The following three links should put you in touch with ideas on how to live stream and record your classes, workshops etc and what platforms might be the most useful for you. 

We’ve seen some great examples of people creating short ‘what to expect and how to join in’ introductory videos. Many people are opting to test ideas out with a trial run.

1. The Space support the UK arts and cultural sector make great art and reach new audiences using digital media, content and platforms. This link is to information on the best low-cost options available for streaming etc. 
2. Arts Marketing Association (AMA) is pulling together resources to support you through Coronavirus to help you find relevant information for the arts, culture and heritage sector. They have also created a Coronavirus Support Group on Facebook which is open to all sector professionals (not just AMA members) to share resources, ask questions and discuss ways to help each other. They are currently offering free webinars to help you during this time. 
3. Digital Culture Network: Having recently attended some training from Arts Council England's Tech Champions we advise you to connect with these no-nonsense tech champions for support. They can provide you and your team with one-to-one support and assistance in:
  • working and collaborating remotely
  • keeping up engagement with your audiences
  • strategies for generating income through online retail and donations
  • maximising your website offer.
Financial support: Many of you will be anxious to find out what financial support might be available to you as freelancers or SME’s. We will update this section as more information becomes available. HMRC have an emergency helpline for businesses and self employed people: 0800 0159 559. The is also useful information about claiming benefits at:

Dance Professionals Fund: Provides financial support for professional dancers, dance teachers, choreographers and choreologists in time of need.
Below is a list of links to organisations that have the most up to date information about Covid-19: 

Other useful resources:

If you just need someone to talk to right now then the following organisations know what they are talking about and are offering FREE support:
Arts Fundraising & Philanthropy Power Hours: FREE hour of consultancy support every day on a first come first served basis to arts organisations that may need help in the coming weeks. This emergency power hour can be focussed on a range of areas including income generation, fundraising strategy, or donor cultivation.
Voluntary Arts: #CreativeNetwork - a daily online get-together open to anyone involved in arts, culture and creativity who would welcome the opportunity to talk to others about dealing with the current situation, the challenges of working from home and what we can do together to make the most of difficult circumstances.

As well as other online resources including:

Dance Resource Base: Good list of information for practitioners working in NI. 

Arts Professional: As the sector turns to technology, here’s what you need to know about running online-only events: Covid-19: Connecting online during social distancing.

Running professional development online? Promote your online training or networking events FREE during the lockdown - FREE listings in Arts Professional for your professional development opportunities. During the coronavirus crisis Arts Professional are going to publicise these events across the sector, free of charge, so that everyone can find out about them. Anyone with something to share can benefit from a Premium listing on the ArtsProfessional website and in their regular emails.


UPDATES 17 March 2020 

You will be closely watching the news and the UK and Nations government updates, taking action and responding as needed for you personally, the groups you work with and your colleagues.

We will have contacted all Members of People Dancing by 5pm on Tuesday 17th March 2020 – please look out for this in your email inbox.

The situation is changing frequently, so to keep up with the latest advice and information, visit the relevant government websites and heed the official government advice:

It may be necessary to act swiftly, so please keep yourself informed, think about forward planning and be prepared. The following is offered for your information and as a signpost to other resources that may also be helpful to you.

The Culture, Health and Wellbeing Alliance as set up a page of resources and information for practitioners at:

There is additionally some very helpful information provided by ACAS and the National Council for Voluntary Organisation (NCVO). Both are free to access:


Working and absence from work 

If you are self-employed and unable to work because of coronavirus or self-isolation, the government has temporarily made access to certain benefits (such as Employment Support Allowance and Universal Credit) faster and easier for self-employed people, depending on their individual circumstance.

If you are employed on a PAYE basis by one or more organisation you should contact your employer(s) and follow their procedures including in respect of and self-isolation.If you are unable to work because of childcare requirements as a result of school closures, you should contact your employer or the organisations and partners you work with.

People Dancing will honour contracts agreed with freelancers and expect our fellow funded dance organisations to do to same.

Cancelling or suspending events and activities 

Individuals, organisations and companies may temporary curtail or suspend activities, resulting in cancellations or postponements – or will find different ways of delivering and engaging, such as online/virtual (see note about insurance for People Dancing Members, below).

Dialogue with group organisers, commissioners, partners and participants is key. It is wise for all parties to understand any contractual arrangements and rights covering such circumstances.  

Some national organisations have provided information about coronavirus as it relates to specific groups and communities, such as Parkinson’s UK and Age UK. People Dancing is unable to provide advice or guidance about specific circumstances or projects.


Coronavirus and mental health 

The World Health Organisation has provided an information sheet about mental health considerations during the virus outbreak, which you may find helpful.


 Insurance and coronavirus

Many people are looking at ways of maintaining activities with groups, such as by virtual/video sessions. We include remote/virtual teaching and leading within the scope of activities insured through Professional Individual Membership of People Dancing. If you are planning to carry on with your work in this way, you will be covered, subject to you carrying out the usual risk assessments and practice safely.

The Public & Products Liability and Employers Liability (up to £10million) insurance benefits provided to Professional Individual Members of People Dancing would respond to defend insured members in the event of an allegation of any illness contracted as result of negligence by the insured (where the insured is legally liable) subject otherwise to the terms and conditions of the policy.

As a reminder: 

Public liability is your legal liability to pay compensation including legal costs for death or bodily injury, or damage to third party property in the course of business.
Public and Products Liability indemnifies the Insured against legal liability to pay compensation and Claimants costs and expenses, including in respect of:
a)       Accidental Personal Injury:

  • Bodily injury, death, disease, illness and/or medically recognised psychiatric injury
  • Invasion of the right of privacy, wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, wrongful eviction or malicious prosecution.

b)      Accidental Property Damage

Employers’ liability:  is your legal liability to pay compensation, including legal costs, for death, bodily injury and illness to employees arising as a result of their employment.
More information about the insurance benefits provided to Professional Individual Members of People Dancing can be found on our website.
We reiterate that it is important to follow official governmental and/or public health guidance appropriate to your location.