The Business Visits & Events Partnership (BVEP) the umbrella body and advocacy group for the UK’s £70 billion events industry, is now calling on the Government to save the industry from complete collapse by providing further targeted and long-term support for the sector.
Last week was profoundly disappointing, as the event industry had been expecting some positive news from the Government around a timetable for a re-start (as promised by the PM in answer to a question put to him the week before), a very small step forward has been taken with the publication last Friday of agreed guidance for restarting some elements of the UK’s outdoor event industry. Outdoor performances, county shows, firework displays, and a range of other small-scale events will now be allowed as long as they adhere to the Covid-19 secure planning guidance. This has been developed by the Event Industry Forum supported by DCMS and representatives from across the events industry.
While this is good news for outdoor events, which are worth £30.4 billion per annum, with the BVEP welcoming the publication of the guidance and the opportunities that this will create for people to attend outdoor events in a safe and secure setting, it still leaves a significant part of the UK event industry waiting for its ‘green light’.
Without a start date being provided, the BVEP is now demanding that the Government provide the following to save the industry from total collapse;
1. If no start date is made available in the next seven days, then the medical and scientific evidence that has led to such a decision should be provided to the industry for further review.
2. Failure to provide a date should also trigger a specific raft of measures designed to sustain the events industry into 2021, with fiscal support to enable both fixed and variable business costs to be met.
3. Freelance talent and the vast number of SME businesses that make up the event industry will also require specific support, as many have not benefitted from any of the existing measures that have been put in place so far and many continue to face significant hardship.
4. We would urge the Government to create a significant and sector specific Recovery Fund, to help kickstart and rebuild the events industry over the next three years, as has been done with the cultural sector.