The Goldsmiths’ Company has announced the launch of a £1m Goldsmiths’ Covid-19 Fund to provide support to individuals working in the jewellery, silversmithing and allied industries.
The group said that the funds intended to help these individuals through a “period of hardship”, and sustain the “craft, skills and future of the industry during an unprecedented period in most people’s lifetimes”.
The fund includes grants of £1,500 that are payable in three equal amounts over three months, available to apply for from today (21 April).
Applications for the grant are open to individuals who are self-employed, sole traders, or running micro-businesses of four employees or less.
Applicants must also live and work in the UK, have an annual turnover of below £200k and work primarily with precious metals.
The Goldsmiths’ Company will also allow applicants to register for an interest-free loan scheme that is set to be launched in May.
Chairman of the group, Timothy Schroder, said: “Since the start of the coronavirus crisis, we have been listening to what our wider community of jewellers, silversmiths and those working in the allied industries have been saying about the challenges they face.
“We know the coming weeks or months will prove exceptionally difficult for people working in the silversmithing and jewellery industry, who are inevitably among those whose livelihood has been badly affected.”
He added that the company and charity would do its “very best to support people in the trade who are facing the greatest hardship”.
UPDATE: The Goldsmiths’ Company has issued an update confirming that the grant scheme has been temporarily closed to new applicants due to the volume of applications. The scheme will reopen “as soon as possible”.