‘Cultural catastrophe’ forecast with 400k jobs and £74bn revenue lost

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Urgent call for government sponsored Cultural Renewal Fund follows bombshell report

The UK’s creative industries are on the brink of devastation according to a report commissioned by the Creative Industries Federation (CIF) from Oxford Economics and published today.

The report, The Projected Economic Impact of Covid-19 on the UK Creative Industries, projects that without government support the creative industries will be hit twice as hard this year as the wider economy, with a revenue drop of £74bn - £1.4bn a week – and a gross valued added drop of £29m or 30%. Previously the sector had been the fastest growing in the UK economy, increasing at five times the rate of the wider economy.

It expects one in five, 406,000, jobs to be lost, and despite the Job Retentions Scheme 119,000 permanent creative workers will be redundant by the end of the year, and 287,000 freelances will have been laid off.

Although London will feel the financial losses worst at £14.6bn, the devastation will be felt in all regions with GVA decreases of 39% in Scotland and the north east. Separately, Cambridge Econometrics predicts that creative industries outside London will take much longer to to recover than in London.

In particular the Oxford report says that music, the performing and visual arts will lose 50% of income and 60-% of jobs, with theatre projected to drop 61% and 26% of permanent jobs. Film, TV, video and radio are expected to lose 57% of revenue and 42% of jobs

 “With the economic impact of Covid-19 hitting hard, the role of our creative industries has never been more critical” said the CIF’;s CEO Caroline Norbury (pictured). “As well as being a huge driver of economic growth in every part of the UK, our creative and cultural sectors bring communities together, they employ millions and are at the heart of our soft power. These are the industries of the future: highly innovative, resistant to automation and integral to both our cultural identity and the nation’s mental health. We’re about to need them more than ever.

“Our creative industries have been one of the UK’s biggest success stories but what today’s report makes clear is that, without additional government support, we are heading for a cultural catastrophe. If nothing is done, thousands of world-leading creative businesses are set to close their doors, hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost and billions will be lost to our economy. The repercussions would have a devastating and irreversible effect on our country.

“We urgently need a Cultural Renewal Fund for those in the creative sector who will be hit hardest, including those industries who will be latest to return to work, those businesses unable to operate fully whilst maintaining social distancing and those creative professionals who continue to fall through the gaps of government support measures. We must also avoid a cliff-edge on vital measures such as the Job Retention Scheme and the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, which have been a financial lifeline for many parts of the creative industries and cannot be cut off overnight.

“It is time to both imagine and engineer our future. We will need our creative industries to do that.

"They are too important to ignore.”

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