Over 400 leading names from across the UK’s creative industries have sent a letter to the Chancellor and Culture Secretary calling for urgent funding for the creative sector.

The letter, signed by, among others, Stephen Fry, Grayson Perry, Nick Cave, Rufus Wainwright, Simon Callow, Anish Kapoor, Meera Syal, Jamie Cullum, Jeremy Deller, Paloma Faith, Johnny Marr, Imogen Heap, Jonathan Pryce, PJ Harvey, Stephen Hough, Katie Melua, Sanjeev Bhaskar and Sophie Dahl calls for help for the thousands of creative organisations and professionals who are falling through the gaps of existing government support measures in light of Covid-19.

The letter, from the Creative Industries Federation, warns that that government must “act, and act fast” to avoid the UK becoming “a cultural wasteland”.

It has received support of signatories from across the UK’s creative sector, from leading actors, writers and musicians, to heads of some of the UK’s best-loved creative and cultural organisations, including the Royal Albert Hall, Somerset House, FIlm Birmingham, Royal Opera House,  Royal Northern College of Music, Shakespeare’s Globe, Tatty Devine, Tate, Penguin Random House, the Roundhouse, Northern Ireland Screen, Scottish Ballet and Lionsgate.

The letter forms part of the Creative Industries Federation’s #OurWorldWithout campaign, which celebrates the UK’s creative industries whilst drawing attention to the fact that more than 50% of creative organisations and professionals have already lost 100% of their income. Creative Industries Federation research shows that 1 in 7 creative organisations only have reserves to last until the end of April. Only half have reserves that will last beyond June.

Caroline Norbury MBE, CEO of the Creative Industries Federation, said: “With venues, museums and cinemas closed, film shoots postponed and festivals cancelled, the UK’s world-leading creative industries are in deep trouble.

“Creative organisations and professionals need cash, and they need it now. Whilst government support measures for businesses and the self-employed are welcome, we know that there are still thousands of creative organisations and freelancers who are falling through the gaps, and who simply will not get through this crisis without urgent cash support.

“Creativity is an intrinsic part of the UK’s cultural identity, and one of the things that the country excels at globally.  It is through harnessing this creativity that the UK will begin to build a new future.  For our sanity, our culture and our very sense of who we are, it is imperative that the UK’s creative industries are supported financially through this crisis.”

Staff Reporter