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UK – Wide Rallies Demand Government Support For Cultural Sectors Amid Crisis

today22/11/2023 34 46 5

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Government Support is requested for Cultural Sectors Amid Crisis in UK. Over the weekend 17-19 of November, a series of rallies drew in 5,000 participants nationwide, advocating for increased government support in various cultural sectors and the extension of relief rates for businesses.

A Reduction Of VAT – The Central Demand

Organized by Save Our Scene, a campaign group dedicated to supporting the live music sector, six pop-up events unfolded on Sunday 19th in key cities such as London, Bristol, Brighton, Cardiff, Edinburgh, and Leeds. These gatherings were part of the Culture Calling campaign, which urged the government to reconsider its upcoming budget on November 22. A central demand of the campaign is the reduction of VAT to 12.5% specifically for the hospitality and cultural sectors.

George Fleming, the founder of Save Our Scene, emphasized the significance of these rallies in expressing a growing resistance to the ongoing crisis faced by cultural spaces. He remarked, “This Sunday showed a growing resistance to the ongoing crisis our cultural spaces are experiencing.

Over the past 12 months, more than 100 independent nightclubs in the UK have closed

Citing a recent report from CGA Neilson, alarming statistics were highlighted, revealing that over the past 12 months, more than 100 independent nightclubs in the UK have closed. The Music Venue Trust also predicts a 10% loss of grassroots music venues in the UK by the end of 2023.

Data collected further indicates a stark reality, with over 30% of clubs in the UK shutting down between June 2020 and June 2023, with 12% of these closures occurring in the last year alone.

Raising Awareness Of The Accelerating Collapse Of Cultural Spaces Across UK

Save Our Scene

Fleming expressed the urgency behind the Culture Calling campaign, stating, “We hosted Culture Calling as a campaign to raise awareness of the accelerating collapse of cultural spaces across the country. With the sharp rise in operating costs, we’re seeing a huge amount of closures across the sector.

The campaign has not only been vocal at rallies but has also garnered support through action. More than 3,500 emails have been sent to Members of Parliament, urging them to support the cultural sector. The Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) and Sacha Lord, the founder of Manchester’s Warehouse Project and Parklife Festival, have also extended their support to the Culture Calling campaign.

Art And Culture – The UK Lifeblood

Fleming emphasized the symbolic nature of the pop-up events, stating, “We did pop-up style events to highlight that our culture is something which cannot be shut down. UK art and culture are the lifeblood of our country. We truly depend on it.”

In his concluding remarks, Fleming urged the UK government to recognize the critical condition of this sector, stating, “This is not just about protecting artists & venues; it’s also about protecting our right to be free and human. The UK Government needs to urgently recognize that this precious sector is on red alert.”

 

Source & photos: Mixmag 

Written by: Bla Bla Radio

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