Enterprise chiefs in London have informed the federal government that “the worst-case situation has change into a actuality for the humanities and tradition sector” after the pandemic worn out exercise within the West Finish.
In a letter to the UK’s tradition secretary Oliver Dowden, companies and organisations in London’s leisure heartland stated the prediction of “cultural break is changing into actuality with the third lockdown”.
Enterprise leaders warned that “we danger the near-extinction of the humanities and tradition sector, plus the numerous hospitality, leisure, retail and tourism companies that depend on it, in one of the culturally wealthy areas on the earth”.
The letter was signed by companies such because the Ritz and Madame Tussauds, alongside teams such because the Society of London Theatre, Coronary heart of London Enterprise Alliance (Holba) and New West Finish Firm.
Footfall in central London has dropped about 92 per cent in contrast with the identical interval final yr, with primarily important employees now supporting the few native companies in a position to open below nationwide lockdown guidelines. Weekly site visitors in West Finish tube stations is as a lot as 95 per cent decrease.
Holba final yr commissioned engineering consultancy Arup to evaluate how the humanities and tradition sector would fare between now and 2025. Underneath the worst-case situation, the place London experiences repeated lockdowns, it discovered that there could be a 97 per cent lower in financial output, which might quantity to a complete lack of £18.5bn in gross worth added between 2020 and 2024.
This “worst-case situation” for the humanities and tradition sector was changing into a actuality, in accordance with the letter.
“This isn’t solely placing jobs in danger however is completely eradicating a bit of the nation’s cultural heritage and the UK’s smooth energy overseas,” it said. “The West Finish wants instant help.”
The teams have appealed for an extension of the theatre tax reduction scheme and a government-backed insurance coverage scheme for theatre and humanities and cultural establishments, just like that which has been given to movie and TV.
The letter said that this might enable producers of theatre and different reveals “the boldness and safety to provide work with out the concern of Covid an infection derailing opening and incurring enormous prices”.
Additionally they need an extension of the VAT reduce for arts, cultural and hospitality companies and an extension of enterprise charges reduction till no less than March 2022.
Holba chief govt Ros Morgan stated that the federal government was responsible of “wilful ignorance” over the issues dealing with companies within the space, which regularly take care of a lot greater prices by way of rents, charges and wages however are provided the identical degree of help as different areas of the nation.
Morgan stated a “highway map out of lockdown” was wanted to assist the world plan for an eventual reopening. The teams estimate that cultural vacationers spend £7.3bn a yr within the capital, supporting no less than 80,000 jobs.