Written evidence submitted by Premier UK Events Ltd
On the 17th March the Chancellor said in the house of commons that “event hire” companies did fall under the umbrella of “leisure and hospitality”. The guidance subsequently sent to local councils however relating to the Retail, Leisure and Hospitality Grant does not specifically mention event companies however and as such these companies are not able to benefit from the support promised.
The chancellor has subsequently confirmed in the house of commons that “exhibition companies” also fell under this umbrella, the guidance again makes no mention of them.
As you can imagine the events industry has been hit harder than most during both the lockdown period, now and also in the future. Live events require hotels and conference centres to be open for conferences to take place. They need exhibition centres such as NEC, SEC and Excel to be open for exhibitions to take place and ultimately, they need people to be able to meet in groups of more than 6 people…
Event companies across the country are being told by their local councils that they are not eligible for the RHL Grant or the business rates cuts that feature as part of the scheme. They need this support more than the majority of companies that have received it and who have been able to trade during this period.
At present there has been no guidance on when live events such as weddings, conferences, exhibitions and festivals can resume. The events industry was promised help and has not received it.
To compound this, the vast majority of event companies are ran as ltd companies with the directors taking the majority of their payments as dividends. With no support for people in this category event company owners are having to use their savings to pay mortgages.
The Chancellor has specifically promised our industry the support it needs, we feel that its only right that he follows this up with action which will help save the events industry. The same industry that built the Nightingale hospitals in record breaking time for the government when it needed them…