Culture can power us out of this crisis — but we need a renewal fund now

The damage is the worst in London, where the creative industries contribute £58 billion in economic value annually. True, the creative industries are taking an enormous financial blow — before this year, we were worth £111 billion to the economy — but this has a very human impact as well. A third of the creative workforce is self- employed.The creative industries include non-profit organisations such as museums, which are running through their reserves, but which provide a vital service through education and communityoutreach The Job Retention Scheme and Self-Employed Income Support Scheme have given temporary help to many, but because of the nature of our business, too many people have fallen through the gaps. We must also avoid a cliff-edge cut-off to the Job Retention and Self-Employed support schemes,particularly as many creative organisations will be much later back to work. We need a Cultural Renewal Fund, a targeted government stimulus package for those who need it most, such as in the entertainment sector, where social distancing doesn’t work. The UK’s creativity has underpinned some of the world’s most successful film franchises,music acts, theatre productions and fashion designers. We need our artists, designers and creators to be big, bold and ambitious, and a stimulus package that facilitates this investment willberepaid many times over. They helped to power us out of the last recession and have consistently grown faster than the wider economy. The creative industries can get us out of the coming recession and give us a vision of thefuture. Caroline Norbury MBE is Chief Executive, of the Creative Industries Federation