The minister of state for Digital and Culture has said the events industry must demonstrate that the lack of available insurance is the only hurdle preventing the industry restarting.
Responding to a letter from the chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Events, Theresa Villiers MP, Caroline Dinenage (pictured) said the bar for considering Government intervention is set “extremely high”.
She said: “…especially in light of recent announcements including the considerable extension to the furlough scheme and local business support.”
In the letter, Dinenage said that the events industry, which has been prevented from earning any income since March 2020, must provide yet further evidence that insurance is a barrier to restart, despite the fact that events cannot run until 21 June at the earliest, and that any restrictions imposed on this reopening will not be decided until after the pilot events have been assessed. “The evidence of market failure specific to the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport sectors must be clearly demonstrated, and robust evidence must be provided that insurance is the only barrier to staging events,” she wrote.
“The Government would also want to be sure that any investment or intervention would lead to an increase in activity. At the moment, for example, clearly social distancing will remain a key barrier to activity for some time in certain sectors.”
Villiers had written to Dinenage on 23 December, who replied on 1 March. Villiers had written enquiring about event insurance and asking for clarification on how the TV production industry had achieved a similar Restart Scheme.
In the response, Dinenage said that the TV industry had provided clear evidence of a market failure around insurance coverage and submitted evidence that an indemnity scheme was the last barrier to the resumption of economic activity. Evidence also cited international precedence. Dinenage also said that there has been “effective lobbying from the industry”.
In a separate letter to Villiers, tourism minister Nigel Huddleston said he was doing all he can to reopen outdoor events.