East of England predicted to lose 26% of creative jobs

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Peterborough's New Theatre has plans to open in November - but not all creative industries may be in the same position (Photo: John Baker)

The East of England's creative sector employs over 160,000 people, but the Oxford Economics study is one of many suggesting that the creative industries - such as music, theatre, publishing and visual arts - are set to be hit at least twice as hard as the wider economy overall.

The UK's creative sector was previously growing at five times the rate of the wider economy, contributing more than the automotive, aerospace, life sciences, and fossil fuels industries combined.

However, the new report, The Projected Economic Impact of Covid-19 on the UK Creative Industries, predicts that despite the Job Retention Scheme, the creative sector will be hit hard by the impacts of the pandemic.

This is a result of venues (for music, performing and visual arts) remaining closed; film, TV, radio and photography production being put on hold due to difficulty with social distancing; the decline of sales because of people having less money will affect fashion designers and publishers; and these industries being hit hard will in turn damage post-production companies, advertising and marketing agencies.

The report follows the Creative Industries Federation's open letter to the government in April calling for urgent funding for the creative sector.

Predictions for the East of England include the loss of up to 42,000 jobs in the creative industries and a 31% drop in the gross value added - estimated to be a drop of £1.9billion.

This hope for the city to rally around its creative industries has been echoed by Vivacity, the charity that runs the culture and leisure facilities in Peterborough, as well as in appeals from the New Theatre to consider donating the cost of tickets for cancelled shows in order to keep the venue going.

In his appeal to return to the vital cultural venues around Peterborough, chair of Vivacity Stewart Francis said that over half the city's population used Vivacity's services. In addition to the sports facilities that Vivacity runs, the services such as the Key Theatre, Peterborough Museum, the Heritage Festival and literacy programmes for children across the city "provide the glue that binds communities together and life in our city would be unimaginable without them".