Arts hardest hit industry, says ONS

Research by the Office of National Statistics shows the arts suffering through lockdown more than any other sector in the UK economy.

The ONS’s latest fortnightly survey shows more businesses in arts, entertainment and recreation reporting as temporarily closed and has the highest number of businesses recording a decreased turnover of 5% or more, while 26% of all businesses had decreased by more than half compared to 63%  in the arts. By contrast, he report says that 62% of hotels and restaurants had seen  turnover drops of 50%.

Three-quarters of arts and entertainment businesses have been temporarily closed, a higher figure than for any other industry and more than four times the average of 18%. Only 3% of arts and entertainment businesses not currently trading  are expecting to start again in the next four weeks, more than any other sector, and 46% were uncertain when they would be able to begin trading

"With social-gathering restrictions set to stay in place, there will be no return to business as usual for venues and live performers any time soon” said Deborah Annetts, CEO of the Incorporated Society of Musicians. “This is why the ISM is calling for the government to maintain its current rate of furlough contribution and put in place a long-term financial support package for the creative industries, whether through tax relief or direct support."


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