Two days ago UK Chancellor published the 2020 Spending Review and said the ‘immediate priority’ will be to protect jobs, as well as help businesses and support public services.
The new announcements included: increased pay for NHS workers and raising the minimum wage, more money for the Devolved Nations and more flexibility for local government, the creation of a new UK infrastructure bank and a new Levelling Up Fund, and reduced overseas aid spending.
Responding to the Spending Review, the Incorporated Society of Musicians’ chief executive, Deborah Annetts, said: ‘Today’s Spending Review was designed to support jobs but failed to recognise the economic value of the cultural industries in attracting visitors and shoppers into communities and supporting hard-hit industries like hospitality, leisure and retail. We are pleased that the Levelling Up Fund covers local arts and culture, but this social infrastructure is too important to be included in the same funding allocation as transport infrastructure. Without theatres and music venues, visitors are not staying in hotels, visiting bars or restaurants and they are doing their Christmas shopping online.’
‘The government should support the performance ecosystem in order to unlock public spending, create jobs and lift the national mood. We need a clear roadmap now for the return of live performance in 2021. This is essential so that the industry has enough time to prepare and implement the necessary measures to resume safely next year.’