Stephen Fry and Grayson Perry among names highlighting risk of ‘cultural wasteland’ as cash reserves run dry
A host of leading creatives have urged the government to provide financial support as research finds half of creative sector organisations’ cash reserves could have run dry by June.
The letter, delivered today to chancellor Rishi Sunak and DCMS secretary Oliver Dowden, was signed by almost 500 creatives and organisations.
Among the signatories are Stephen Fry, Grayson Perry, Meera Syal, Lionsgate chief executive Zygi Kamasa, Raise the Roof managing director Jane Muirhead and outgoing Directors UK chief Andrew Chowns.
The letter points to a “creative and cultural sector in crisis” due to Covid-19, with one in seven respondents to a 2,000-person survey conducted by the Creative Industries Federation saying they cannot last beyond April and half citing the end of June.
“We cannot allow the UK to lose half of its creative businesses and become a cultural wasteland,” it reads.
“We must act, and act fast. We call on the government to implement urgent funding for creative and cultural organisations impacted by the fallout of Covid-19.”
The letter was put together by the Creative Industries Federation and led by the body’s chief executive Caroline Norbury.
It forms the backbone of the body’s #OurWorldWithout campaign, which aims to celebrate the creative industries wile drawing attention to the fact that more than 50% of creative organisations and professionals have already lost 100% of their income.
The letter in full
The Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE
Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
The Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP
Chancellor of the Exchequer
We, the undersigned creative professionals and institutions, call on the government to protect the UK’s creative industries.
Our creative and cultural sector is in crisis. A Creative Industries Federation survey of 2,000 creative organisations and freelancers revealed that 1 in 7 creative organisations believe they can last only until the end of April on existing financial reserves. Only half think their reserves will last beyond June.
We cannot allow the UK to lose half of its creative businesses and become a cultural wasteland. The creative industries are one of the UK’s biggest success stories, previously growing at five times the rate of the wider economy. The creative sector will also be critical to driving the UK’s economic recovery - and transforming lives for the better - as we re-build.
We must act, and act fast. We call on the government to implement urgent funding for creative and cultural organisations impacted by the fall-out of Covid-19.
Caroline Norbury MBE, CEO, Creative Industries Federation and Creative England