Advice on social gatherings ‘crippling blow’ to creative industries

Leaders blast government advice on coronavirus

Creative industries leaders have blasted the government’s advice to avoid social gatherings in the wake of the coronavirus crisis.

Caroline Norbury, CEO of the Creative Industries Federation and Creative England (pictured) said the advice was “a crippling blow to the UK’s creative industries.”

As the social distancing measures announced are advisory rather than ordering the closure of cultural spaces, this will prevent creative organisations from claiming compensation for the huge losses they will experience.

“Public safety remains the top priority for everyone in the creative sector,” said Norbury. “However, these measures have the potential to devastate the UK’s theatres, museums, cinemas, venues and other cultural spaces reliant on audiences, visitors and participation, as well as the huge array of creators and freelancers who work within these industries.”

For the sake of our £111.7 billion creative industries, it is vital that government puts in place support to ensure that our world-leading creative sector is able to survive COVID-19"

Head of Bectu Philippa Childs said the cost of protecting the public from the spread of coronavirus can’t be carried by theatre workers, many of whom are on zero hours contracts.

“The government needs to be clearer in its guidance and its language so that theatre companies can claim insurance to ensure that staff are not left without pay for weeks on end. It is failing to provide the clarity it needs to and this must be addressed immediately.

“Bectu will continue to push hard for better protection for freelancers and vulnerable workers including zero hours workers to try to reach an agreement with employers as quickly as possible.”

Bectu represents over 20,000 freelancers working across film, TV, theatre, the arts and live events


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