Westminster Media Forum

Since lockdown, we have been organising our full programme of conferences online. We will continue online until further notice, to ensure we play our part in helping our employees and delegates to remain safe during this time. We are pleased that so many key stakeholders, policymakers and other interested parties - both old friends and new delegates - are taking up the opportunity to discuss public policy issues and network at our impartial seminars. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time. So there are plenty of opportunities for you to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are. For booking-related queries, or information on speaking, please email us at info@forumsupport.co.uk or contact us using one of the following numbers: +44 (0)7538736244 / +44 (0)7503591880 / +44 (0)7951044809.
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Renewing the arts and culture sector - priorities for support, innovation and the workforce, and the roadmap for recovery across the UK

Morning, Thursday, 28th January 2021

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***

This conference will consider the way forward for recovery and renewal of the UK arts and culture sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from DCMS; the Department for the Economy, NI; the Department for Communities, NI; DIT; the Government Legal Department; and HMRC.

The discussion at a glance:

  • the support strategy and implementation - assessing where grants have been made, and specific areas where further support is needed, as well as the form it should take
  • keeping the lights on - how arts and cultural organisations and individuals in the workforce are adapting, including the impact of the latest lockdown measures
  • working in arts and culture - priorities now and in the longer term for new ways of working, skills, inclusiveness, wellbeing, and workplace culture - looking across the UK
  • innovation and renewal - latest strategies being adopted across the sector, and opportunities and options going forward

A scan of developments:

  • Funding available through the Culture Recovery Fund - £1.57bn, with the independent Culture Recovery Board to help administer the programme and more than £400m awarded so far
  • the Cultural Renewal Taskforce - aimed at developing blueprints for how and when closed venues and other businesses can reopen safely
  • Lifeline grants for culture in all corners of the country  - the third round of the cultural recovery fund with 70% going to venues outside of London
  • lockdowns - the changing framework of national and local measures introduced to address rising cases of coronavirus, including postponement of plans to reopen business conferences, exhibition halls and large sporting events, and the introduction of the new lockdown and other restrictions
  • Culture, tourism and sport bring us together in a shared experience - recommendations from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee report into the impact of COVID-19, including:
    • sector-specific action with a deal for the performing arts need that provides continued support
    • a fund to help people whose activity levels have been hit by the lockdown restrictions
    • extension of job support for seasonal workers in the tourism sector
    • support for cultural industries and spectator sports unable to generate revenue while mass gatherings are banned
    • the Treasury ensuring that the DCMS is sufficiently resourced to take the lead on tackling digital exclusion
  • wider government measures - the Winter Economy Plan, the Job Support Scheme, Self-Employment Income Support Scheme grant extension and Guidance for DCMS sectors in relation to coronavirus

Key areas for discussion:

  • revenue - the impact of lockdown on income, and the nature and targeting of government and other forms of support that is needed
  • current priorities - addressing key immediate threats to the sustainability of businesses and other organisations at all scales in the industry and those working in or alongside it
  • the Culture Recovery Fund - to what extent it is filtering down to those in the sector and the sector’s experience of accessing the fund thus far
  • longer term - looking at strategies and support that will be needed for recovery and growth, including the position following the end of the EU Exit Transition Period
  • UK-wide - priorities for cultural recovery in the nations and regions, the different approaches of devolved administrations, and support that is needed from devolved and central government
  • skills and workforce renewal - the sector’s key future requirements and the way forward for meeting them, and ensuring the sector is inclusive and able to continue to compete, adapt and innovate
  • job sustainability - and whether more needs to be done alongside the Job Support Scheme and Self Employment Income Support Scheme Grant to support those working in the sector
  • wider policy - the implications for the sector of those policy measures adopted by the Government to support the UK’s economy as a whole
  • innovation - learning from success in adapting during the pandemic, and what can be done to improve access to digital services and innovation for smaller arts and culture organisations
  • investment - the future of financing UK art and culture and the outlook for private investment in the sector
  • reopening the sector - latest developments and prospects, and priorities for the Cultural Renewal Taskforce and individual sectors and organisation
  • the new normal - what changes in public attitudes and consumption habits will remain embedded and what it mean for segment of the sector going forward

The agenda:

  • Key priorities and challenges for cultural recovery and renewal in England
  • The arts and culture sector in the wake of the pandemic and moving forward - the government response, opportunities for innovation, and the roadmap for recovery
  • Meeting the skills challenge for the future - priorities, new ways of working, inclusiveness and supporting a competitive sector
  • Cultural renewal and recovery across the UK
  • Policy priorities for supporting the UK arts and culture sector in the immediate and long term

Policy officials attending

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stake holders. Places have been reserved by officials from the DCMS; the Department for the Economy, NI; the Department for Communities, NI; Department of International Trade; the Government Legal Department; and HMRC. Also due to attend are representatives from Art UK; Bath Spa University; Charcoalblue; Creative Estuary - University of Kent; Dacorum Borough Council; Newcastle University; Queens Margaret University; Rosetta Arts CIC; Thrive Audience Development; University of Leeds; University of Lincoln; University of Plymouth; University of Roehampton; University of Westminster; and Upswing.

Overall, we expect speakers and attendees to be a senior and informed group including Members of both Houses of Parliament, senior government and regulatory officials involved in this area of policy, as well as from cultural, heritage and arts organisations and venues, their suppliers and their advisors; business leaders in the hospitality and leisure sector; tourism businesses; education and outreach organisations; charities and non-profit organisations; innovation platforms, consumer groups and industry specialist academics, together with reporters from the national and specialist media

This is a full-scale conference taking place online***

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording to refer back to
  • information-rich discussion involving key policymakers and stakeholders
  • conference materials provided in advance, including speaker biographies
  • speakers presenting via webcam, accompanied by slides if they wish, using the Cisco WebEx professional online conference platform (easy for delegates - we’ll provide full details)
  • opportunities for live delegate questions and comments with all speakers
  • a recording of the addresses, all slides cleared by speakers, and further materials, is made available to all delegates afterwards as a permanent record of the proceedings
  • delegates are able to add their own written comments and articles following the conference, to be distributed to all attendees and more widely
  • networking too - there will be opportunities for delegates to e-meet and interact - we’ll tell you how!

Full information and guidance on how to take part will be sent to delegates before the conference

Keynote Speaker

Nick Capaldi

Chief Executive Arts Council of Wales

Keynote Speakers

Nick Capaldi

Chief Executive Arts Council of Wales

Senior speaker confirmed from the DCMS


Baroness Lola Young of Hornsey


Tamara Rojo

Artistic Director and Lead Principal, English National Ballet; Board Member, Creative England; and Board Member, Creative Industries Federation

Roy Alexander Weise

Co-Artistic Director, Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester

Phillipa Childs


Zita Holbourne

Joint National Chair, Artists' Union England

Graham Farrant

Chief Executive, BCP Council

Kathryn Thomson

Chief Executive, National Museums NI

Rufus Norris

Director, National Theatre