Jobs in the arts and music industries must be protected and need a clear plan for support, Scottish Labour has said.
With shows and live gigs unable to take place under current lockdown restrictions, the Scottish Government has been urged to provide a “creative arts recovery package” to help the industry and protect jobs.
In a letter to Economy, Fair Work and Culture Secretary Fiona Hyslop, Scottish Labour’s culture spokeswoman Claire Baker warned the sector “will not recover” without further support.
Ms Baker said: “The pressures on our creative sector are mounting every day, and the support that the Scottish Government should have put in place weeks ago has not materialised.
“These businesses and venues were the first to close when the lockdown began, and while most staff were furloughed, with no end in sight, redundancies are being announced.
“We know the recovery from Covid-19 for these industries will be particularly difficult, and they cannot afford to lose out on the vital revenue they need from ticket sales and bookings over the next few months.
“We need a Scotland-specific creative arts recovery package, with wide ranging avenues of support, or the arts sector will not recover.
“The lack of action is risking the future of performance venues, and the Scottish Government must now take serious and immediate action.”
On Thursday, TRNSMT festival director Geoff Ellis warned concerts will not be able to go ahead with social distancing in place, suggesting Glasgow’s SSE Hydro would only be able to open at 30% of its capacity even if the two-metre rule is halved, and he warned many small venues could go under entirely.
His comments followed an open letter from approximately 1,500 artists, including Ed Sheeran, The Rolling Stones and Sir Paul McCartney, calling for UK Government action to support the music industry.
Addressed to UK Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden, the letter warned the sector is at imminent risk of suffering “mass insolvencies”, with concerts and festivals unlikely to return until 2021 at the earliest.