While many in the events industry are hoping the chancellor will announce a Government-backed insurance scheme for festivals and an extension of the 5% VAT rate on ticket sales in today’s budget, the announcement that the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) is to be extended until September has been warmly welcomed.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak is expected to announce an extension of the furlough programme by five months until the end of September, while extending parallel support for the self-employed.

He said, “Our Covid support schemes have been a lifeline to millions, protecting jobs and incomes across the UK. There’s now light at the end of the tunnel with a roadmap for reopening, so it’s only right that we continue to help business and individuals through the challenging months ahead – and beyond.”

Night Time Industries Association CEO Michael Kill welcomed what he described as being a positive move: “This will go a long way to safeguarding sector jobs until we are able to re-open, allowing a level of flexibility through the phases of market re engagement.

“We hope that the initial announcements from Government on the budget will set the tone for further positive news in support of businesses, which without support will be unable to deliver the furlough scheme which has protected millions of jobs during the pandemic.”