Local authorities' culture offer hinges on Spending Review

14 Oct 2021

Councils call for an extra £400,000 funding for arts and culture as venues in smaller authorities face life-threatening cuts.

CMA to assess music streaming market

20 Oct 2021

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is launching a study into the UK’s music streaming market.

The watchdog will probe the dominance of major record labels and music streaming platforms including Spotify to assess whether artists are getting a fair deal.

Streaming now accounts for more than four-fifths of UK music consumption, according to the BPI.

CMA's annoucement follows its ongoing investigation into Sony Music’s recent merger, which raised concerns of a “a substantial lessening of competition”, and a DCMS Committee inquiry into streaming's effect on artists.

The decision was welcomed by Committee Chair Julian Knight, who has previously supported calls for an official investigation.

“Our investigation exposed fundamental problems within the structure of the music industry itself. This action marks a key step forward.”

Essex to launch local arts recovery fund

19 Oct 2021

Essex County Council will launch a local Arts and Cultural Recovery Fund next month.

The fund is geared towards recovery and development post-pandemic, benefitting organisations that support artistic and cultural work.

Graham Butland, the council’s cabinet minister for devolution, the arts, heritage and culture, has not revealed the size of the fund but said it is “significant”.

He confirmed a key focus will be supporting small grassroots organisations.

“The arts is something the county council left the stage a few years ago and we want to back in there.”

Digital pivot reverses as theatres struggle to monetise online shows

14 Oct 2021

The trend has raised fears about diminishing access for disabled audiences - but research suggests they too are starting to switch off.

15,000 jobs lost from late night cultural events

12 Oct 2021

The night-time cultural economy has lost 86,000 jobs due to Covid-19, 15,000 of them in culture and arts events.

Defined as a third party providing events, the night-time cultural economy has suffered more than the wider night-time economy and the out-of-home leisure economy as a whole.

A new report from the Night Time Industries Association says the culture and arts subsector - museums, galleries, theatres, music venues and cinemas - had grown faster than other parts of the night time cultural economy, accounting for nearly 200,000 jobs in 2019.

However, it lost £36bn in trade over the 18 months to June - more than 100% of its pre-pandemic value.

This section of the economy contributes 1.64% of GDP, "but also to the health, well-being and sangfroid of the population as a whole," the report says.

"It is felt quite strongly that the night time cultural economy bats much higher than just its economic contribution."

Tech enabling creativity

06 Oct 2021

One of the most powerful things to emerge during the pandemic is the importance of the arts to our wellbeing. Gilane Tawadros says the visual arts – and artists in particular - can play a critical role in post-pandemic recovery.

Equity warns of hardship over Universal Credit cut

21 Sep 2021

Performers face financial hardship if the Government proceeds with plans to cut a £20 per week Universal Credit uplift.

53% of Equity members in a new survey said the policy would hurt them.

41% said they would be unable to meet essential costs, with a third unable to continue seeking work in the industry.

Equity believes the cut will have an even more pronounced impact on younger talent, underrepresented groups and those from working class backgrounds.

"These changes to Universal Credit will plunge thousands of Equity members into poverty or force them to leave the profession,” Equity’s Lead Tax and Welfare Rights Official Alan Lean said.

The union has called on the Government to abandon the proposed cut, scheduled to come into effect October 6.

126,000 events industry jobs lost to Covid-19

08 Sep 2021

93% of organisers have changed their business models in response to the pandemic but a full recovery isn't expected until 2023 at the earliest.

Danger for smaller pantos as sales lag by £23m

02 Sep 2021

A decline in group bookings - mostly from schools - is driving a loss in income that is expected to hit smaller producers hardest.

Creative and cultural industries generated £150bn pre-pandemic

01 Sep 2021

The UK's creative and cultural industries generated £150.4bn in 2019, according to new data.

DCMS figures show the industries' value grew by 8.3% in the year from 2018, adding £11.5bn to the economy before the pandemic hit.

While the creative industries' value continues to dwarf the cultural sector's at £155.8bn, cultural businesses generated nearly £36bn in 2019 - more than gambling and sport combined (£8.3bn and £16.9bn respectively).

Among all DCMS sectors, culture drew the largest proportion of its value from London. Activity in the capital added £2.2bn more to the economy in 2019 - a 10% rate of growth.

The sector's gross value added grew by 6% in all other regions except the West Midlands, where it fell by about £1m.


New tax rules could cause cashflow woes for freelancers

19 Aug 2021

The proposed changes would mean increased admin for the self-employed and a supersized tax bill in 2023.

Project leaks artist pay rates to force transparency

11 Aug 2021

The project has highlighted a race to the bottom on freelancers' fees as artists share their "incredibly bad experiences".

South Bank arts venues' economic impact down £330m, report claims

12 Jul 2021

Five major UK arts institutions are appealing for public and private investment after losing half their income due to Covid-19.

Camelot delivers highest ever lottery return to the arts

07 Jul 2021

The National Lottery operator generated £1.88bn for good causes in spite of the pandemic, but withheld £59.2m to boost its marketing budget.

New obligations to protect UK’s art market from money laundering

19 May 2021

With under a month to go for art businesses and artists to register with HMRC, Mary-Alice Stack explores how the sector is responding to the need for increased regulation.

PRS sets 10% interim livestream tariff against objections

14 May 2021

The royalties society says the rate, already more than double that levied on in-person shows, is "discounted" from a permanent rate it is yet to announce.

'Creators Council' mooted to help workforce and assist recovery

13 May 2021

A parliamentary report into writers' experience of Covid-19 says "a clear line of communication between the Government and the creative workforce" would address gaps in support - and save an £11bn industry from a cliff edge.

V&A's Theatre and Performance archive 'at risk of becoming a dead collection'

25 Mar 2021

Staff restructuring proposals that threaten the museum department have been condemned as a "devastatingly bad idea".

What ‘watch at home’ gave us

A pirate on stage performing Treasure Island in front of a ship prop and his crew
24 Feb 2021

Can a regional theatre make money from online productions? Kelly Johnson says you have to weigh your options and ask for help.

Selling collections must be subject to scrutiny

24 Feb 2021

Sharon Heal challenges a museum chair’s view that ethics are a matter of ‘emotion’.


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