Covid 19 – what’s the impact on businesses?
The Creative Industries Federation warns of a “cultural catastrophe”, projecting devastating figures for 2020. Economic modelling by global forecasting firm Oxford Economics predicts the turnover of the UK’s creative industries will contract by £74 billion in 2020. The Crafts Council contributed to the research which shows that crafts could lose £513 million in revenue (53%), with the craft economy projecting to lose 47% of jobs (58,000) as many craft practitioners experience the fallout of closed workshops and retail spaces.
The Chancellor subsequently announced a new £1.57bn support package for the arts to protect the Britain’s arts, culture and heritage industries. We are hoping to learn how this may also benefit sole traders and freelancers.
More businesses closed in the arts than other sectors, according to Government figures for the first two weeks of lockdown from 23 March. They show that a quarter of UK employees were on furlough, but in the arts the figure was around two-thirds.
The DCMS Committee published its Inquiry into the impact of Covid-19 on DCMS sectors, highlighting the devastating impact of the virus. It expressed concern that freelancers and small companies will continue to fall through the gaps of Government support. The Crafts Council responded to the Inquiry, emphasising the anticipated losses to craft businesses, advice and resources and the making activities we’ve made available on our website.
Covid 19 – what’s changing?
The Impact of Covid-19 on Education summarises published evidence on the early impacts of lockdown including on the youth labour market, disadvantage, schools, further education and higher education.
At one point it seemed that some schools might stop doing arts GCSEs following lockdown to reduce the size of the curriculum next school year, but Education Secretary Gavin Williamson confirmed schools must return to a broad and balanced curriculum in September.
The Policy and Evidence Centre puts forward policy suggestions to help the creative industries to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic and subsequent shut down. It looks at growth patterns for creative clusters outside London over the last 20 years, and how they were impacted after the 2008 financial crash. The changing spatial distribution of employment in Creative Industry Clusters in England 1991-2018 shows how the degree of growth in rural areas varies strongly across creative sub-sectors and has been strongest in crafts and five other sectors. Crafts employment has remained stable overall over this time and crafts is the only sector to have seen growth over the whole period in very rural areas. (The report authors also express surprise about ‘co-agglomeration’ between crafts and IT, software and computer services (when sub-sectors locate near one another), yet makers will know that digital media and fabrication are a growing part of craft.)
Doing Arts Research in a Pandemic, from The Culture Capital Exchange, is a crowdsourced collection of reflections, research activities and methods that have emerged in the light of the pandemic.
NEMO, the network of European museums looks at how lockdowns have made the importance and benefits of digital cultural heritage evident and the challenges museums face in digitising their collections and establishing online access to them.
The All-Party Parliamentary Design and Innovation Group has published a note of its April discussion on how the design sector is responding to the economic and social crisis caused by COVID-19.
The Lib Dems have set out proposals for reinvigorating the creative industries, including reforming the apprenticeship levy and protecting IP rights in trade deals.