Mayor welcomes arts investment package for all parts of London

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Sadiq Kahn has welcomed the announcement of nearly £1.6bn to support the arts through the current health pandemic, but warned that all aspects of culture and the creative industries will need access to support due the widespread impact of Covid-19.

Without Government support, the capital had been predicted to lose one in six of its creative jobs by the end of 2020 and suffer a £14.6bn loss to its economy.

New research by the Greater London Authority, architecture and urbanism practice We Made That and economy specialists PRD estimated a further ‘hidden impact’ of £1.7bn cost on businesses in the creative industries’ supply chain. These businesses face an uncertain future as they wait to see if they too will benefit from Government support.

The majority of London’s culture and creative industries have completely closed down because of Covid-19, with theatres, music venues and performance spaces shutting their doors.

As well as impacting on the venues and their staff, this is hitting a huge range of businesses behind the scenes – from lighting and audio-visual firms and set designers, to textile wholesalers and prop hire.

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Manufacturing, construction and logistics companies are among the wide range of industries across the country that also supply the capital’s creative industries, and are being affected by its near shut-down.

Research estimates that the entire supply chain of the creative industries faces losing 82,400 jobs and seeing £3.3bn wiped off the value of London’s economy without specific support.

This would mean that total the impact of Covid-19 on London’s culture and creative industries could cost the economy £16.3bn and put 151,000 jobs at risk.

This supply chain will be crucial to getting the creative economy back up and running, but many of the businesses involved fear they will not be categorised as ‘cultural organisations’ and therefore not be eligible for Government grants and loans.

Mr Khan said: “I’m pleased to see that the Government has finally got round to acknowledging the vital role the culture and creative industries play as both a driver of the economy and key part of the fabric of life in our city.

“The loans and funding for our cultural organisations are welcome and long overdue, but I’m concerned to see no mention of support for the thousands of freelancers who work across the sector or the businesses in the creative supply chain, without whom our theatres, galleries and venues simply wouldn’t function.

“London’s creative and cultural sector led the world before the pandemic and will play a vital role in our economic and social recovery but it is essential that the Government support the whole cast, not just the headline acts.”

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