Written evidence submitted by the Business Archives Council

 

Impact of Covid-19 on DCMS sectors

About us

The Business Archives Council (BAC) is a charity that brings together business records creators, custodians and users. Founded in 1934, its aims are to advocate for the sector, promote the preservation of business archives and support those working in the business archives and history arenas.

 

 

What has been the immediate impact of Covid-19 on the sector?

 

 

 

 

 

 

How effectively has the support provided by DCMS, other Government departments and arms-length bodies addressed the sector’s needs?

 

 

What will the likely long-term impacts of Covid-19 be on the sector, and what support is needed to deal with those?

 

The Crisis Management Team (CMT)– a sector wide initiative to deal with situations such as these – is already dealing with records at risk at BrightHouse, Carluccio’s, Debenhams Limited, Flybe Limited, Laura Ashley Limited, Oasis and Warehouse Limited, Remnant Kings and Stratford Herald. It is likely that we will see more historically and culturally significant businesses go under in the coming months.

At the moment the CMT is largely operated by volunteers from the archive sector who give up their own time to contact administrators, liquidators, the companies whose records are at risk and local repositories who may be able to take on the records. The CMT has had great successes in the past – including saving the Thomas Cook archive from being split up and sold – but they may be overwhelmed with the amount of cases in the coming months.

 

 

 

What lessons can be learnt from how DCMS, arms-length bodies and the sector have dealt with Covid-19?

 

 

 

 

How might the sector evolve after Covid-19, and how can DCMS support such innovation to deal with future challenges?