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MP’s Question Ministers in the House. When can we get back to work??

Tracy Brabin MP (Shadow Minister for Cultural Industries): Research from the creative industries policy and evidence centre has shown there has been 55,000 job losses in music, performing, and visual arts in the last six months. Our creative workers are desperate to get back, but to do so they need a safety net – Germany has just announced an indemnity fund, industry productions suggest a three-month indemnity here could get the sector back on its feet. Can the Minister explain what is holding this up?

 Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Digital and Culture:

Our creative industries provide an immense contribution to the economy. The next stage of the CRF will be shortly announced, another £258m, and we are looking carefully at the German model, as it was announced this week, the details are still coming to light. We have to ensure this is the only obstacle to things being able to re-open, but we are happy to continue to speak with HMT.  

 Q12. What steps he is taking to help the live music sector respond to the economic effect of the COVID-19 outbreak? Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP (Chipping Barnet, Conservative)

 Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Digital and Culture:

 In addition to over £100bn of general support, our unprecedented £1.57bn CRF has seen well over £500m handed out to organisations to date, with 1/5 of that to the music sector specifically. These funds are providing valuable support to live music venues and festivals. 

 Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP (Chipping Barnet, Conservative): The sector is grateful for support. To get music festivals and major events on again from the spring and summer, businesses need to be making decisions now. Will the Minister give serious consideration for an indemnity or insurance scheme so that they can make those decisions with the assurance their losses will be mitigated?

 Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Digital and Culture:

 I am well aware of the concerns and challenges of securing insurance for live music events, this is something we are looking at carefully but the key is for the industry to build an evidence base for insurance coverage [being] the only barrier to events taking place, we had this evidence with the film and tv sector. 

 Julian Knight MP (Chair of DCMS Select Committee): On a similar theme, the UK is a leader in the world for music and arts festivals, the sector supports many highly skilled jobs. There will be no festival season next year unless insurance is underwritten in case of Covid-19 disruption – will the Minister meet with me and MPs to see how this reinsurance can be put in place, and does the Minister recognise that with a minimum lead-in time of six months, the reinsurance needs to be in place now before the likes of Glastonbury commit. The idea that only [just] before will mean these festivals cannot go ahead, we need them to be signing contracts today.

 Caroline Dinenage, Minister of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport:

 I know this is something he cares about deeply. He met the Secretary of State recently to discuss this. Festivals are integral, I am well aware many will take decisions very soon so this is urgent. There is a sub-group of my Entertainment and Events Working Group looking at how we can get festivals re-opened. In the last few weeks I have met with numerous festival representatives

So, We are on it , they are on it and the ball shifts daily.

Association of Festival Organisers (AFO): 11th Dec 2020 18:00:00

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