Today I pressed the Business Secretary to support for the music, events and creative industries, which have been left out of the last support package announced by the Government, but remain unable to open. Watch my question below:
I wrote to the Culture Secretary, with other local MPs and Sheffield Music Board, in August. The challenges faced by Sheffield’s vibrant music scene and once-thriving night time economy have worsened since then, but we’ve had no response from the Government. It’s unacceptable that venues that must stay closed to tackle the virus are excluded from the support announced by the Chancellor last week. As they cannot open, they have no income and can’t contribute half of their staff’s wages, which is required by the new Job Support Scheme.
The knock on effect is massive. It risks not only much loved venues, but the jobs of artists, producers, lighting and sound technicians, bar staff, set and video designers, security staff and more – with similar problems across the events and creative sectors more widely.
In response to my question, the Business Secretary told me that “we continue to have conversations with those sectors”. Conversations aren’t enough – we need action to protect our music, events and creative sectors – and I will continue to press Government to act.