After suffering the worst financial crisis in 300 years, Rishi Sunak the UK’s Chancellor has promised to give the arts sector over £400m, to prop up a failing industry starved of an audience, due to the COVID Pandemic.
Mr Sunak has praised our industries as a “significant driver” of the economy
Mr Sunak has praised our industries as a “significant driver” of the economy which employs over 700,000 people. “I am committed to ensuring the arts are equipped to captivate audiences in the months and years to come,” he said.
The funds will include £408 million for England, including an extra £300 million to the £1.57 billion Culture Recovery Fund, £90 million to support its locked-down national museums, and £18.8 million to fund other community cultural projects. The government will give an additional £77 million to the devolved administrations of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland to support their own cultural sectors.
The Creative Industries Federation said: “We welcome the emergency measures announced in today’s Budget, including the extension of support schemes to September, the inclusion of the ‘newly’ self-employed and the £408 million injections into arts and culture, which we and others have been calling for. These measures will provide relief to many in the UK’s creative industries, a sector that has been amongst the worst hit by the pandemic and that will be one of the latest to return to work. Greater flexibilities in the apprenticeship scheme are very welcome, as we seek to spread opportunity within the creative industries more widely, as is the six-month extension of the Film and TV Production Restart Scheme.
As we look to the future, we know that the creative industries can power us out of recession, drive economic growth, create jobs, and make our communities happier, healthier places for everyone. It is, therefore, welcome to see creative industries highlighted as a priority in both government’s Plan for Growth and the Levelling Up Fund, recognising that our £116bn sectors are a significant industry that will unlock innovation and drive the future of the UK in the months and years to come. We know that attracting inward investment will be critical to this. We have been calling for the expansion of Creative Industries tax reliefs and while we welcome that the government is consulting on R&D tax reliefs, we keenly await the eligibility criteria for the super-deduction. Investment in our world-leading creative content must be incentivised.
It is essential that as we recover, we do so in a way that does not leave people behind. Our recent survey of over 800 creative organisations and practitioners showed that freelancers, those outside of London and those reliant on audiences, have been hit hardest. As venues plan for a summer reopening, it is disappointing that proposals to introduce government-backed insurance for live events have not been adopted. This would provide the degree of certainty that is so desperately needed. There are also still thousands of people in our sector who are falling through the gaps. More than just support, we need urgent structural change to ensure freelancers – a vital part of our future workforce – have every opportunity to thrive.”