Westminster Media Forum

We are continuing to organise full-scale virtual conferences which retain all the features of physical seminars, including full programmes, presentations with slides, panel discussions and live delegate questions and comments sessions, person-to-person and group networking, and a permanent record provided to all delegates afterwards. New events are coming on to our conference programme all the time, so there are plenty of opportunities to join us if you haven’t already, from wherever you are.
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Priorities for cultural recovery and renewal across the UK

February 2020

Price: £95 PLUS VAT

***Full-scale policy conference taking place online***
This conference is assessing the way forward for recovery and renewal of the UK arts and culture sector in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic - and in the face of resurgent infection rates and new lockdown restrictions, but with hopes raised for the vaccination programme leading to a reopening of the economy.

The discussion is bringing together stakeholders with key policy officials who are due to attend from DCMS; HMRC; the Department of International Trade; the Intellectual Property Office; the NAO; the Department for the Economy, NI; the Department for Communities, NI; the Government Legal Department; the Isle of Man Government; and the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales.

The discussion at a glance:

  • the support strategy and implementation - assessing the targeting and effectiveness of grants that have been made, and specific areas where further support is needed and 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

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

Key areas for discussion:

  • sector income and support - the impact of lockdown on income, and the nature and targeting of support that is needed from government and elsewhere
  • 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
  • key current issues - 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
  • priorities 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
  • recovery initiatives across the UK - the different approaches of devolved and regional administrations, and support that is needed from devolved and central government
  • skills and workforce - 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

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
  • the Women in Theatre Forum Report - warning that gender inequality in the arts is likely to be worsened by the pandemic, and criticising lack of gender diversity on the Government’s Cultural Renewal Taskforce
  • 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
  • furlough - the ONS finding arts, entertainment and recreation industry had the highest proportion of its workforce on the scheme, at 34%, compared with 9% across all industries
  • 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 that provides continued support
    • a fund for people whose ability to take part in physical activity has been negatively impacted by 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
    • making sure that the DCMS is sufficiently funded to lead the way on addressing 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
  • the Test to Release for International Travel scheme - exempting performing arts professionals, classical musicians and TV production staff from quarantine if they test negative for COVID-19

Policy officials attending:

Our forums are known for attracting strong interest from policymakers and stakeholders. Places have been reserved by parliamentary pass-holders from the House of Commons, and officials from the DCMS; HMRC; the Department of International Trade; the Intellectual Property Office; the National Audit Office; the Department for the Economy, NI; the Department for Communities, NI; the Government Legal Department; the Isle of Man Government; and the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales.

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

  • full, four-hour programme including comfort breaks - you’ll also get a full recording and transcript 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 conferenc

This pack includes

  • Dropbox video recording of the conference
  • PDF transcript of the discussion, including all speaker remarks and Q&A
  • PDFs of speakers' slide material (subject to permission)
  • PDFs of the delegate pack, including speaker biographies and attendee list
  • PDFs of delegate articles