WEST Worcestershire MP Harriett Baldwin is supporting a bid from Malvern Theatres for emergency government funding.

Last week, the theatre wrote to Arts Council England requesting funding to help cover running costs after the coronavirus pandemic hit the industry.

The Arts Council funding is available in grants out of a total £500 million being given out, with donations available until September 4.

In addition, the government has confirmed an emergency fund worth £1.57 billion to help culture and heritage organisations to recover from the crisis, which almost saw Malvern Theatres go out of business.

Mrs Baldwin said: "The arts sector has been particularly hard hit by this terrible virus and although some cinemas and outdoor venues are able to start operating again large-scale indoor productions in front of full houses still seem a long way off.

"I’ve chatted to a number of local employers and pointed our local venues to funding sources including this latest emergency package to try and help to protect our heritage through the coming months.

"This is a very difficult time for people employed in the arts sector and I welcome the Government’s decisive steps to help offer venues as much support as possible."