In April, colleagues and I wrote to the Prime Minister making the case for a Government-backed insurance scheme that would give the live events industry the confidence it needs to plan ahead without fear of incurring losses due to Covid restrictions - something insurance companies have refused to underwrite.
Last week, the Chancellor responded to our calls and announced the ‘Live Events Reinsurance Scheme.’ This world-leading scheme, worth over three quarters of a billion pounds, will support thousands of jobs by enabling the sector – which includes trade shows and business events, live music events and festivals – to resume planning and investment for the year ahead, and will have a positive impact on the wider economy as society reopens.
With the live events industry worth more than £70 billion to the UK annually and supporting more than 700,000 jobs nationwide, this is a crucial step in supporting this country’s economic recovery out of the pandemic.
This move has been welcomed by the events sector. Sacha Lord, Co-Founder of the Parklife Festival, has said of the scheme: “this move will not only save hundreds of upcoming events, but will support the thousands of freelancers behind the scenes who depend on the sector for their own livelihoods.”
The economic priority of this Government throughout the pandemic has been to protect jobs and this scheme is a continuation of that.
If the Government takes full advantage of the gains of our tremendous vaccine rollout and does not reintroduce Covid restrictions, as I am trying to ensure is the case through my work with the Covid Recovery Group, then this scheme won’t cost the taxpayer a penny. However, whether it is relied on or not, and I hope that it isn’t, this scheme will nonetheless instil confidence in the events sector to plan for those shows, concerts and conventions which are of economic and cultural importance to people all over the Forest of Dean. I look forward to seeing them get back underway.