The UK government has announced an investment of £1.57 billion in the creative industries, to ensure their survival in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic
In April, the Creative Industries Federation – the membership body that represents the UK’s creative industries – launched a campaign entitled #OurWorldWithout. Highlighting the crucial role that the arts and creative industries play in the UK economy and society, the campaign was launched in response to sobering statistics showing that just one in seven creative organisations believed they could last until the end of April on existing financial reserves, while only half though they could last beyond June.
Alongside the #OurWorldWithout campaign, an open letter from the Creative Industries Federation called on the government to protect the UK’s creative industries by providing urgent funding. Yesterday, the government announced an investment of £1.57 billion to protect the country’s cultural and heritage organisations, marking an unprecedented move to ensure the survival of museums, galleries, theatres, independent cinemas, heritage sites and music venues.
“An inspired move from government to stop our cultural institutions from collapse and give our arts and cultural sector the necessary boost to not only survive but innovate through the pandemic,” says Dazed Media CEO and co-founder Jefferson Hack, who also wrote an urgent open letter to save the fashion industry, creative fashion workforce and national identity. “This will help lift all communities, economically and spiritually from the spectre of mass unemployment and closure of beloved venues towards hope for a brighter future for all.”
“This unprecedented £1.57 billion investment is a seismic step forward,” says Creative Industries Federation CEO Caroline Norbury. “Our creative industries are teetering on the brink of cultural collapse – and this could be the game changer we need. The voice of the creative sector has been heard loud and clear by the government and we warmly welcome their response. This investment acknowledges the mission critical role that the UK’s creative industries will play in recovery and growth in all parts of the country.”
Though Norbury stresses that “there won’t necessarily be an easy return to normal”, as lockdown in the UK has started to ease the investment announcement is a hopeful sign that the myriad creative industries which contribute so much to the UK’s economy and society will be able to thrive post-pandemic.