Economic modelling by global forecasting firm Oxford Economics predicts the turnover of the UK’s creative industries will contract by £74 billion in 2020. Despite the Job Retention Scheme, they project that 119,000 permanent creative workers will be made redundant by the end of the year and 1 in 5 jobs are expected to be lost. Of these, music, performing and visual arts are projected to lose £11 billion in revenue and 178,000 jobs as theatres, recording studios and concert venues remain closed. The music industry is expected to be particularly hit hard by the collapse in live music and touring. Theatre, projected to lose £3 billion in revenue and a quarter of permanent jobs, will potentially lose a lot more if audiences prove reluctant to return to venues, as some surveys suggest. Crafts could lose £513m in revenue and almost half of jobs as practitioners suffer from the impact of closed workshops and retail spaces. Museums and galleries, now likely to reopen in July under social distancing constraints, are estimated to lose £743 million in revenue and 5% of jobs.
The Oxford Economics report, The Projected Economic Impact of Covid-19 on the UK Creative Industries, was commissioned by the Creative Industries Federation. Its CEO, Caroline Norbury, said: “Our creative industries have been one of the UK’s biggest success stories but what today’s report makes clear is that, without additional government support, we are heading for a cultural catastrophe. If nothing is done, thousands of world-leading creative businesses are set to close their doors, hundreds of thousands of jobs will be lost and billions will be lost to our economy. The repercussions would have a devastating and irreversible effect on our country.
"We urgently need a Cultural Renewal Fund for those in the creative sector who will be hit hardest, including those industries who will be latest to return to work, those businesses unable to operate fully whilst maintaining social distancing and those creative professionals who continue to fall through the gaps of government support measures. We must also avoid a cliff-edge on vital measures such as the Job Retention Scheme and the Self Employed Income Support Scheme, which have been a financial lifeline for many parts of the creative industries and cannot be cut off overnight."