The Arts Council England is to invest an extra £44.5 million in artists and arts organisations over the next two years.
Key to the new scheme will be a £40 million open application fund for arts organisations suffering due to the recession.
Grants will range from £75,000 to £3 million. Any arts organisation can apply, but priority will be given, according to the Arts Council, to "those seen as vital to the Arts Council achieving its mission of great art for everyone".
The council said that it hopes the fund will have a rapid turnaround from application to award of a maximum of six weeks.
As BD revealed in March, the funds have been made available by bringing forward Lottery money, which in practical terms means the Arts Council radically reducing its Lottery cash balances.
“Of course we understand that the national debt has to be tackled, but a few million off the arts budget is going to make no appreciable difference to that task. On the other hand it could undermine years of creative and financial investment," she said.
Forgan added: "We cannot protect artists from the realities of recession, but we can be as imaginative, open and useful as possible in our efforts to get us all through this with minimal damage to the creative life of this country.”