Cultural Policy Readout / 8 June 2020


Weekly round-up of the latest from Westminster and beyond, from our partners at Whitehouse Consultancy.

Creative Coalition

The Creative Industries Federation has announced the Creative Coalition, a major consultation project with members, fellow industries, partners and UK, devolved and local government to input into what our future economy and society could look like, and how the creative industries are central to realising this vision.

The purpose of the Coalition is to reimagine the creative sector and create an inspirational view of what the future could look like, backed by evidence and ideas. The working group hopes to highlight the value that creativity, creative skills and the creative industries can bring to the UK’s economic, social and cultural recovery.

The overarching objective is to ensure creativity is hard-backed into the UK’s economic and social rebuild, with the institutions, government strategy and infrastructure in place to provide the creative industries the resources to bounce back and grow.

Cultural Renewal

DCMS has announced details on Cultural Renewal Taskforce. The government announced that a Cultural Renewal Taskforce – split into working groups – is created to help the crucial reopening of sectors in Britain’s economy. They will support the renewal of DCMS sectors and help to develop new COVID-19 secure guidelines for the reopening of public places and businesses, where and when it safe to do so.

In total, 8 working groups have been set up all led by a Minister to provide a forum for sector specialist and other experts to help develop guidance; identify and resolve practical, sector-specific guidance-related issues; develop a sector-wide plan for disseminating and implementing guidance; discuss actions and updates arising from the Cultural Renewal Taskforce; and to give stakeholders the opportunity to put questions and suggestions to Ministers.

The working groups are divided into the following: 

  • Broadcasting, Film and Production
  • Entertainment and Events
  • Heritage
  • Library Services
  • Museums and Galleries
  • Sport
  • Visitor Economy
  • Youth

A full list detailing all the organisations that will be working in each working group can be found here.

Neil Mendoza has been appointed the new Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal. Mendoza’s role is providing an expert and independent voice to the government and advising on how UK culture and heritage can begin the road to recovery from COVID-19. He will initiate a philanthropic focus on arts and culture, and help ensure Arts Council England, National Lottery Heritage Fund and Historic England and other important bodies work together with DCMS to develop and deliver support to the sector.

Culture in the House

Written questions of interest

Kevin Brennan MP tabled a written question regarding support for cultural organisations affected by COVID-19:

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will establish (a) an emergency rescue fund and (b) a cultural investment participation scheme to support (i) theatres and (ii) other cultural venues affected by covid-19 restrictions until those organisations are able to operate at full capacity.

Answered by Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State (Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport):

We recognise that these are incredibly challenging times for theatres, and cultural venues more broadly, and the Government will continue to support these organisations through the unprecedented financial measures we have announced. DCMS has also worked closely with its arm’s-length bodies to deliver tailored support packages at speed, including the £160m Emergency Funding Package announced by Arts Council England, made possible by Government funding.

Alongside this, DCMS continues to engage with the sector extensively in order to best understand the challenges faced. We are working closely with the Arts Council to consider the additional support that may be needed to support the long-term recovery of the sector.

Andrew Gwynne MP tabled the question:

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what plans his Department has to create a tailored support package for the events industry to support that sector during the covid-19 outbreak.

Answered by DCMS minister Nigel Huddleston:

We are aware that COVID-19 has significantly impacted multiple aspects of the events industry. My officials continue to gather intelligence from the sector and I regularly engage with events stakeholders to monitor the situation through the Visitor Economy Working Group, the Events Industry Board, and the Tourism Industry Emergency Response Group.

Government support for the events sector is set out in the International Business Events Action Plan, which was published in June 2019. We will continue to engage with stakeholders to assess how we can most effectively support the sector’s recovery from COVID-19.

Businesses and workers in the events industry can access the Government’s comprehensive economic support package, including the recently extended the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, the Bounce Back Loans scheme.

Covid Update

Coronavirus and the Government’s emergency measures

Business minister Nadhim Zahawi has stated the new NHS COVID-19 contact-tracing app should be in place by the end of the month. Last week the new test-and-trace system launched in England and Scotland but without the app due to technical glitches. But, according to the Guardian, the NHS test-and-trace system will not be expected to work at full speed until September or October. Elsewhere, thousands of children returned to schools across England for the first time since lockdown, but many have remained at home due to parental concerns and warnings from some councils that it is still too premature. Finally, new rules requiring all people arriving in the UK to self-isolate for 14 days has come into effect. Those arriving by plane, ferry, or train – including UK nationals – must give an address where they will self-isolate. Those who breach the rules will be fined.

The week ahead…

Next week, the Select Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport will be receiving oral evidence for its ongoing inquiry on “Impact of COVID-19 on DCMS sectors” on Tuesday 9th June 9.00 am – 12.00pm.

Evidence will be submitted at 9:30am by Julian Bird, Chief Executive of UK Theatre and Society of London Theatre; Caroline Norbury MBE, Chief Executive of Creative Industries Federation; Horace Trubridge, General Secretary of Musicians’ Union.

At 10.30am Caroline Dinenage MP, Minister for Digital and Culture; David Knott the Director for the Office for Civil Society at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; and finally Emma Squire, Director for the COVID-19 Economic Response and Arts, Heritage and Tourism at the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

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