Manchester music venues Deaf Institute and Gorilla to close
(Credit: Alani Cruz)

Nick Cave, Johnny Marr, PJ Harvey and more warn that UK will become “cultural wasteland” without government financial support

A host of high-profile names such as Nick Cave, Johnny Marr and have signed an open letter warning that UK will become “cultural wasteland” without government financial support.

The letter, which is directed to Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, includes more than 400 signatures and urges for more funding in support of the creative industries who have been severely impacted during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We cannot allow the U.K. to lose half of its creative businesses and become a cultural wasteland,” the letter reads. “The creative industries are one of the U.K.’s biggest success stories, previously growing at five times the rate of the wider economy. The creative sector will also be critical to driving the U.K.’s economic recovery—and transforming lives for the better—as we re-build.”

The open letter, created and orchestrated by the Creative Industries Federation, has also been signed by the likes of Stephen Fry, PJ Harvey, leading figures of institutions such as Royal Albert Hall, Tate, Royal Opera House, Shakespeare’s Globe and more.

Caroline Norbury, the current CEO of the Creative Industries Federation, said: “With venues, museums and cinemas closed, film shoots postponed and festivals cancelled, the UK’s world-leading creative industries are in deep trouble.

She added: “Creative organisations and professionals need cash, and they need it now. Whilst government support measures for businesses and the self-employed are welcome, we know that there are still thousands of creative organisations and freelancers who are falling through the gaps, and who simply will not get through this crisis without urgent cash support.”

Musician Paloma Faith added: “The creative arts have always been a refuge, an important voice in times of joy, pain and heartache. They unite people in their shared experiences. and make people feel less alone, punctuating our memories and articulating the feelings we don’t have the words for.’”

Read the letter in full, here

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