The UK’s creative industries could face up to 400,000 job losses and a £71 billion drop in revenue, according to an alarming new report released by the Creative Industries Federation (CIF) on Wednesday.
The report, which is built on newly commissioned research from Oxford Economics, highlights that the creative sector will be hit twice as hard as the wider economy in 2020, coming after a period of rapid growth that saw it contributing £111.7 billion to the economy — which the CIF points out is “more than the automotive, aerospace, life sciences and oil and gas industries combined.”
Despite the introduction of the government’s Job Retention Scheme, the report projects that 119,000 permanent workers could be made redundant by the end of 2020, and that freelancers will be substantially more impacted, with as many as 287,000 losing work over the same period. The impact of social distancing on theatrical presentation and production costs is also predicted to result in a 42% loss of workforce in the film, TV, video, radio and photography sector alone. Find out more about the report.
Responding to these findings, Directors UK CEO Andy Harrower reiterated our call for proper government support, and again highlighted the gaps in their existing provisions whilst looking to the challenges ahead: “It is vital that the Government offers meaningful support to the Creative Sector at this critical time. The films and television programmes directed by our members have kept the country entertained, informed and connected during lockdown.
The majority of screen directors are freelancers and lost almost all of their work as the production industry ground to a halt. Many were unsupported due to gaps in the financial support available and a full return to work is likely to be slow and challenging as production adapts to safe working. UK television alone creates £3billion of revenue and £1.4billion in exports. Government intervention is needed now to support the industry and its workforce in getting back to work, and maintaining the UK’s global position as a centre of excellence for film and television production and creative talent.”
Caroline Norbury MBE, CEO of the Creative Industries Federation, stressed how important the creative industries will be in the nation’s recovery. “These are the industries of the future: highly innovative, resistant to automation and integral to both our cultural identity and the nation’s mental health. We’re about to need them more than ever.”
In this crucial moment for our industry, we will continue to fight alongside our sister organisations for proper, comprehensive support for our members, and meaningful government protections for our industry.