The Events Industry Forum has made a direct appeal to government to ask for £151m of targeted financial support for the events industry.

The EIF, which represents the events industry, highlighted the plight of suppliers and freelancer in particular, and drew attention to 2019 research showing that outdoor events employ some 589,000 people and generate £39bn in spend.

Jim Winship, secretary of the EIF, said: “What we are asking for is a time limited support mechanism to cover the basic overheads of these businesses until the next season. Compared to the funding of other industry sectors, a relatively small amount is needed to secure the future of this sector until the next season.

“Many businesses in this sector are small independent companies, or even sole traders, and we know that some support covering the winter period from November – March would on one hand guarantee their survival and the preservation of Britain’s vibrant events programme, but if properly focused and time limited it would not present the Treasury with a huge cost.

“Given the Gross Valued Added of this industry is estimated at £30bn, the £151m support we estimate that is needed to keep the sector going over the winter is small compared to the contribution we can make to rebuilding the economy in the long term.

“Outdoor events are widely recognised as being a factor that will help the UK’s recovery. Economic impact research shows that many outdoor events bring considerable revenue into businesses around them, from hotels and restaurants to shopping centres, all of which need help.   Furthermore, the research by Bournemouth University shows that these events make a positive contribution to community spirit – something we are all going to need as we come out of this pandemic.”