Basildon Council will be joining companies from across the events industry tonight (Monday 6 July) to light the Basildon sign in red.

The purpose of the gesture is to draw attention to the plight of the billion-pound events industry which was the first to close down at the start of the Covid-19 crisis.
The industry was given a lifeline today (Monday 6 July) as a £1.57bn government support scheme was announced.

Leader of Basildon Council Councillor Gavin Callaghan had recently written to the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, Oliver Dowden MP to voice his concerns and call for a support package to be put in place.

He said: "All industries have been hit by this crisis but the events and hospitality industry has been hit the hardest and the road back looks considerably more treacherous.

"I am pleased the government has responded with this support package but there will still be tough times ahead and we must show as much support as possible for this industry as it emerges from the pandemic. Cultural venues are the beating heart of any town or city and are some of the main drivers of the economy. There are many jobs at risk in the cultural sector but it, in turn, supports a large number of other jobs, and livelihoods, in the wider economy, such as in hotels, bars, shops, restaurants, local taxis and more."

Cllr Callaghan also outlined how theatres cannot function without audiences, relying heavily on ticket sales, and are less able to adapt like the food and drink hospitality industry.

He added: "Basildon Council is fully committed to our theatre and our town centre masterplan makes provision for a new facility, the Towngate Theatre. The cultural and creative sector has a huge positive impact on society, across all age groups, on health, wellbeing, and education."

ENDS

Published on Monday 06 July 2020