Wednesday 21 July 2021 4:32 pm

Covid lockdowns cost UK creative industries £12bn

Repeated coronavirus lockdowns have cost the UK’s creative industries an estimated £12bn and more than 110,000 jobs, new figures have revealed.

Data released today by Oxford Economics showed businesses in the creative sector generated around £104bn in gross value added value in 2020, down from £116bn the previous year.

This was also well below the £122bn in GVA the sector was projected to generate by the end of 2020 had the pandemic not materialised.

The analysis also estimated that job losses will reach more than 110,000 by the end of the year, with 95,000 of these cuts expected to impact freelancers.

Creative subsectors reliant on footfall and audiences such as museums and performing arts have been hardest hit by lockdowns, while the creative industries in the north east and Wales are projected to be slowest to return to pre-pandemic levels.

But the report, which was compiled by the Creative Industries Federation and Creative England, said government support measures such as the £1.57bn cultural recovery fund had been key in preventing the 400,000 job losses previously forecast in June 2020.

The trade bodies called on the government to provide further support to help the creative industries, arguing that the sector could be a major catalyst for the UK’s post-pandemic recovery.

They forecast that the sector could grow by more than 26 per cent by 2025 – a faster rate of growth than the UK economy as a whole.

This would contribute more than £132bn in GVA – over £28bn more than in 2020 and more than the financial services, insurance and pension industries combined, according to the report.

The data also suggested that the creative industries could create 300,000 new jobs and surpass pre-pandemic levels.

“With ambitious investment, the creative sector can rebuild faster than the UK economy and make a major contribution to the country’s post-pandemic recovery,” said Caroline Norbury, chief executive of Creative UK Group.

“We are not asking for handouts. We are asking for meaningful, targeted investment in creative ideas, creative industries and creative skills, that can unlock the incredible potential of the creative sector to kickstart our country’s recovery, and that will be repaid many times over.”