empty theatre

Cultural catastrophe: new report sounds dire warning for creative industries

A devastating report from Oxford Economics, released today, spells out the catastrophic consequences for the cultural sector as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown.

Commissioned by the Creative Industries Federation, it reveals that – despite growing at five times the rate of the wider economy before the pandemic – the creative industries will be hit twice as hard in 2020, with an expected revenue drop of £74 billion.

Prior to Covid-19 the creative industries contributed over £111 billion to the economy, yet the film, TV, radio, video and photography industries alone could lose £36 billion in revenue.

Theatre is projected to lose a staggering 61% of its revenue and over a quarter of permanent jobs.

The impact on employment is set to be felt twice as hard by creative freelancers, with 287,000 roles expected to be terminated by the end of 2020.

The Creative Industries Federation is calling for a number of measures, including a Cultural Renewal Fund (read the full report and recommendations here).

WGGB General Secretary Ellie Peers said: “This report makes sobering reading. The creative industries have been a spectacular success story for the UK and we support the Creative Industries Federation’s calls for additional Government support to protect this vital pillar of our economy and cultural landscape, and the jobs of those who work within it.

“The last few months have seen theatres go dark, and film and TV productions shut up shop. We need to ensure not only that those lights come back on and those productions restart, but that the creative workforce, the powerhouse of this sector, get the financial support they need and deserve.

“It comes as no surprise that the self-employed workforce is particularly vulnerable, and WGGB is pulling out all the stops to ensure that the livelihoods and rights of our members, all creative freelancers, are protected.”

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