London’s arts and culture are a major draw for visitors from around the country and around the world, and play a huge part in the interconnectedness and viability of London’s businesses.
With the decline of the City as a financial centre, post-Brexit, Amsterdam is the new London in terms of the financial world. Therefore the arts and culture assume an even more important part of the UK economy. A sector which is currently neglected to the point of criminality by our incompetent UK government.
Why do most people come to London? To shop, eat, drink and see a show.
All of these sectors are experiencing unparalleled disruption, and the support has been practically non-existent.
The Heart Of London Business Alliance issued a Call for Urgent Support for the Arts & Culture Sector in a letter co-signed by 17 of their partners.
They wrote to The Rt Hon Oliver Dowden CBE MP Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport, asking for urgent support for the arts and culture sector, eleven months after theatres were forced to close their doors with no expectation of reopening soon.
Their key demands were:
An extension of the Theatre Tax Relief Scheme.
A Government-backed insurance scheme for theatre and arts and cultural institutions
similar to that which has been given to film and TV.
An extension of the VAT cut for arts, cultural and hospitality businesses
An extension of business rates relief until at least March 2022
Grant funding to help make cultural venues COVID-19 secure and to enable their reopening.
Commitment to the publication of a roadmap out of lockdown with clear timelines for cultural organisations to plan towards.
And ongoing support for the entire sector as they work steadily back towards normalisation of trading.