The U.K.’s culture sector may lose up to $93 billion in revenue this year due to COVID-19, a report found.
A woman wearing a face mask crosses Millenium Bridge in front of Tate Modern in London. Photo by Barry Lewis/InPictures via Getty Images.
Leaders of the United Kingdom’s cultural sector warned the industry is facing possible devastation, with the potential loss of more than 400,000 jobs and up to £74 billion (about $93 billion) in revenue through the end of 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to new research from Oxford Economics commissioned by Creative Industries Federation. The research suggested the creative sector—including the industries of music, film and TV, theatre, architecture, publishing, galleries, and museums—will experience twice as much economic fallout from the pandemic as the overall economy.
The Creative Industries Federation, a national advocacy organization for the U.K.’s creative industries and cultural education, said the country’s cultural sector is on “the brink of devastation,” according to the Independent. The creative sector was in good standing prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, employing more than 2 million individuals and adding around £111.7 billion (about $141 billion) to the U.K. economy.
Caroline Norbury, the federation’s chief executive, said in a statement:
Our creative industries have been one of the U.K.’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.
Some charitable organizations have stepped in to help cultural institutions weather the economic hardships brought on by the pandemic. On Tuesday, the London-based organization Art Fund announced it was making £2 million ($2.5 million) in grants and partnerships available to U.K. museums and galleries affected by COVID-19.