SoA joins industry-wide submission to Commons COVID-19 inquiry

22 June 2020

SoA and eight other organisations representing over 330,000 members table joint evidence to DCMS Select Committee on the historic challenges facing the cultural and creative industries.

Following last month’s written evidence to the House of Commons Select Committees for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), the SoA has joined with eight other organisations representing over 330,000 members in tabling a joint submission to the DCMS Commons Select Committee’s inquiry into the impact of COVID-19 on the cultural and creative industries.

The 3,500-word report calls for an historic 'all-encompassing approach' to support the cultural and creative industries, which contributed £143 billion in Gross Value Added to the UK economy – 7.5% of the total – in 2018.

The submission calls for the establishment of a UK Creators’ Council to drive arts and culture policy backed by a flexible DCMS Recovery Plan on the German model that addresses the needs of each of the creative and cultural industries as the economy recovers.

The Recovery Plan would also be supported by fresh resources from HM Treasury and aligned to a long-term Industrial Strategy focussed on developing the skills and commercial environment needed to address the sectoral challenges set out by the SoA and the other organisations contributing to the report:

  • The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS);
  • The British Equity Collecting Society (BECS);
  • The Design & Artists Copyright Society (DACS);
  • Directors UK;
  • Equity;
  • The Musicians’ Union (MU);
  • The Royal Society of Literature (RSL); and
  • The Writers Guild of Great Britain (WGGB).

The cross-party panel of MPs, which closed its call for evidence on 19 June 2020, received a further submission from the Association of Illustrators (AoI), with which the SoA has been working closely as a Creators’ Rights Alliance partner. The AoI’s report mirrors many of the joint SoA evidence and calls for 'radical, ambitious thinking' to support the cultural and creative industries in the wake of COVID-19. To read it in full, click here.

Commenting on the report, SoA Chief Executive Nicola Solomon said:

“I am really pleased that the SoA has been able to work with such fantastic organisations and produce such detailed written evidence to inform policymaking as we move to the economic recovery phase.

“We must see the Government engage positively with member organisations like the SoA and others, and it cannot ignore our policy proposals as representatives of over 330,000 members working across writing, publishing, art, design, music and theatre.

“As well as setting up a UK Creators’ Council, supported by fresh funding and a proper Industrial Strategy, I was pleased to see our report end with a call for strong copyright protections to be maintained, so soon after the Government’s opening of formal trade talks with Australia.

“We must not see intellectual property standards bartered away in this and other trade deals. They are vital for ensuring that authors and creative professionals can earn a living from their work.”