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Support for the creative industries

July 19, 2020 12:11 PM
psaw (Thanks to Renee Fisher for sharing their work on Unsplash.)Recently elected Liberal Democrat MP Daisy Cooper ( Pictured below) has said the £120m of taxpayers' money promised by the government for a "Festival of Brexit" in 2022 would be better diverted to existing cultural events to offer support to the creative industries, which employed 2 million people and made an annual contribution to the economy of more than £110bn last year, but now risks emerging depleted from the Covid-19 crisis.

A £1.57bn emergency coronavirus package provided by the Government, earlier this month has done nothing for thousands of small businesses and freelancers within the arts industry who have been excluded from support, she said.

"The UK's creative industries went into the Covid-19 pandemic as world leaders, but without the necessary recovery support, they will emerge smaller, weaker and with lasting damage," said Ms Cooper.

"But with so much continuing uncertainty, the government must step in to prevent a cultural catastrophe and protect people's livelihoods from the twin threats of Covid and Brexit.

"The government's support package was welcome, but the details remain unclear and still nothing has been done to help support the thousands of small businesses and freelancers who have been left penniless."

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The Lib Dem "agenda for immediate survival, recovery and renewal" for the creative industries includes:

  • Inclusion of creative workers in government support schemes;
  • Reallocation of funds for the Festival of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to existing festivals and events;
  • Unconditional reset grants to help existing micro-businesses in the sector get going again;
  • Reform of the apprenticeship scheme and levy to keep the £55m paid by the sector within the sector;
  • The targeting of new training and vocational courses to areas suffering significant redundancies;
  • Retention of "gold standard" intellectual property and data protections, currently guaranteed under EU laws.
This approach was supported by the director of the British Arts Festivals Association (BAFA), Fiona Goh, who said the money would be better spent sustaining the existing network of cultural experiences across the country, most of which have been cancelled this year with many feared never to return.