Rhinegold Photo credit: UK Parliament
The House of Lords: 50 members signed a letter calling on the government to provide financial support for music and the performing arts

John Barnett

Call for financial support for the performing arts

11:35, 22nd May 2020

An online petition calling on the British government to provide financial support to performers and creators during the Covid-19 crisis has been signed by nearly 7,000 people. The petition requires 10,000 signatures to receive a response from the government, and 100,000 signatures to be debated in parliament.

The petition complements a letter signed by 50 members of the House of Lords, published in the Telegraph on 2 May, urging the government to provide robust financial support to music and the performing arts, which ‘face ruin’ as a result of Covid-19.

The letter pointed out that the creative industries are worth £111bn to the UK economy every year, and detailed the severe impact of Covid-19 on the music industry, with venues and theatres closed, festivals and concerts cancelled and the majority of the self-employed workforce losing their income. It went on to urge the government to see that the music sector must be afforded urgent financial support to ensure its survival and to prevent irreversible financial and cultural damage.

Deborah Annetts, chief executive of the Incorporated Society of Musicians, added: ‘Without robust financial support, like the €50bn emergency programme introduced in Germany, the future of these industries is in peril. We continue to engage with the government to ensure no individuals or organisations are left behind in the wake of this crisis.’

Meanwhile, London mayor Sadiq Khan announced a £2.3 million emergency fund to support cultural and creative industries at risk due to the impact of the coronavirus. Further to the launch of the fund, Khan said, ‘We need the government to step forward and provide the comprehensive support this industry needs to protect its future.’

Sign the petition at: petition.parliament.uk/petitions/301903

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