The National Outdoor Events Association (NOEA), the industry body that represents outdoor events industry, has written to the Prime Minister to underline the industry’s increasingly desperate situation.

In what the association calls a “tidal wave of debt that could sink the industry”, NOEA has underlined that both the loss of income from 2020 and the rising amount of Government and suppler debt many businesses have had to accrue during the pandemic, could spell the end of many businesses. The letter also underlined that, with time running out for a start date for the industry, and no specific events industry support packages in place, businesses would collapse leaving thousands without jobs.

Within the correspondence, NOEA reiterated a number of requests where Government could support the events industry and asked for these suggestions to be considered as part of an “industry specific package” from the Government.

Tom Clements (pictured), president of NOEA, commented: “This really is the last chance for many businesses. To get any event happening this year will require a well-functioning supply chain, and we’re in danger of losing thousands of these businesses.

“This year more than any, we as an industry, need to be doing a safe and professional job, carried about by skilled and experienced people. At the current rate, these professionals will just not be there in the summer. That’s devastating for them, but it’s also incredibly dangerous for the millions of people who attend events in the UK, now and in the future.”

In the letter, Clements asks for:

  • Furlough needs to be continued until at least the end of December 2021.
  • Staff employed up to December 31, 2020 to be allowed to go on furlough
  • Employers National Insurance and Pension contributions to be suspended until December 2021.
  • Repayments of PAYE and VAT owed to HMRC to be deferred to December 2021 with outstanding amounts turned into a loan payable over 10 years.
  • The repayment of Bounce Back Loans and Coronavirus Business Loans taken out in 2020 to be deferred to April 2022.
  • Business rate relief to be continued for 2021/2022 as of the new financial year in April 2021.
  • Event Industry companies and event suppliers should also qualify for Business Rates Relief
  • The five per cent level of VAT made available to event organisers through ticket sales, to be made available to event suppliers.
  • Confirmation of a start date for the event industry. If this needs to be put back, this should be on a fortnightly basis from May 1, 2021.
  • Further grants required now that we have lost events until July.
  • The recently announced events insurance commitment, underwritten by the Government, to be in place and covering any delay to the event industry “start date”.
  • Devolved administrations to synchronise their plans with Westminster.

A full copy of the letter can be downloaded here.