The UK’s All-Party Parliamentary Group for Events (APPG) and the UK’s industry’s overarching association, the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP), have submitted a series of recommendations to the UK Covid Recovery Commission, 27 January.
The Commission, which is chaired by John Allan CBE, chairman of Tesco, was set up to examine the impact of the Covid crisis on the government’s levelling-up agenda for society, will present practical ideas to government over the coming months to support higher productivity levels, encourage business investment and promote a culture of innovation across the UK.
The recommendations produced by the Commission will be presented to the chancellor of the exchequer, Rishi Sunak, ahead of his budget being presented on 3 March.
The BVEP submission highlights areas in which the events industry can play a major part in the rebuilding of the UK economy and the levelling up agenda. Key areas include that events would provide a platform for the UK to showcase its industrial, scientific and cultural strengths to meet its new global ambitions.
Further, it could lead to the creation of an at arms-length strategic body to drive the growth of international events held in the UK.
The submission also suggests the inclusion of event strategies in local authority plans to create programmes of festivals and to enhance place-making opportunities.
The submission also notes that the events industry should also be included in the Tourism Sector Deal as part of the UK government’s Industrial Strategy.
Another key area in the submission is the introduction of ‘Tourism Zones’ to include new and revitalised event infrastructure. This would tie in to an increase in resources within VisitBritain for direct sales representation and for funding for the Business Events Growth Programme to attract, grow and create international event activity in the UK.
The Rt Hon Theresa Villiers MP, chair of the APPG, pointed out that the forthcoming G7 Summit, which prime minister Boris Johnson confirmed would go ahead in June, shows the importance of the events industry. “The Government’s plans for the G7 summit in Cornwall show what an important and positive role events can play in boosting local economies,” she said. “The events, conference and exhibitions sector can help revive the economy as we emerge from the Covid emergency. I hope ministers will look seriously at this set of proposals on how events can promote training, opportunity, levelling up and prosperity.”
Members of the Commission represent businesses operating in all nations and regions of the UK and across all the major sectors of the economy, and include senior directors from organisations including Heathrow Airport, AstraZeneca, Vodafone UK, Babcock International, Hitachi and Shell UK.
You can read a full copy of the submission to the Commission on the APPG website here.
The three-day G7 Summit, which is attended by leaders from the UK, US, Germany, France, Canada, Italy and Japan, is thought to be worth some £50m in economic benefit to the host county of Cornwall in the southwest of England. Delegates will be staying at the Tregenna Castle Resort, St Ives.