Coronavirus: Stephen Fry and Grayson Perry warn UK could become ‘cultural wasteland’

'We must act, and act fast'

Rishi Sunak pledges extra £14.5bn to the NHS to tackle coronavirus in the UK

Stephen Fry, Grayson Perry and Anish Kapoor have signed a letter warning the government that the UK could become a “cultural wasteland” without financial support for the creative industries amid the coronavirus crisis.

More than 400 leading figures in the arts attributed their names to the letter by the Creative Industries Federation. They argue that the arts and individuals in the business will need “urgent cash support” if they are to recover from the crisis.

“Our creative and cultural sector is in crisis,” they wrote to the Chancellor and Health Secretary.

“A Creative Industries Federation survey of 2,000 creative organisations and freelancers revealed that one in seven creative organisations believe they can last only until the end of April on existing financial reserves. Only half think their reserves will last beyond June.

The letter continued: “We cannot allow the UK to lose half of its creative businesses and become a cultural wasteland. The creative industries are one of the UK’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 UK’s economic recovery – and transforming lives for the better – as we re-build. We must act, and act fast.”

Also among the signatories were Nick Cave, Jamie Cullum, Paloma Faith and Simon Callow, the latter of whom added: “Since the beginning of time, people have gathered to listen to music and stories together. Creativity is what makes us human. A virus cannot stop time.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in