AEV

LOCAL AUTHORITIES FAILING TO PAY UP - EIA ACT

News

LOCAL AUTHORITIES FAILING TO PAY UP - EIA ACT

10 Feb 2021

Thousands of businesses across England facing further job losses or bankruptcy due to local authorities failing to pay up to £1.4bn of emergency COVID-19 grants

  • Freedom of Information Request by the Events Industry Alliance to Local Authorities across England has shown that an estimated 87 per cent of the £1.6bn Additional Restrictions Grant (ARG) funds announced by the UK Government have yet to be paid out to companies, despite the scheme being launched four months ago.
  • The ARG scheme was announced in October to help businesses forced to close due to COVID-19 restrictions, including those in the events, exhibitions and hospitality sectors
  • Businesses closed by COVID-19 restrictions face being forced into making further job cuts or bankruptcy due to local council delays

The Events Industry Alliance (EIA), which represents the UK’s event organisers, venues, and suppliers, can today reveal that an estimated £1.4bn of Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG) announced by the UK Government on 31 October, has not yet been paid by local authorities in England to businesses closed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ARG, which could be worth up to £3,000 per month per company, provides funding for local authorities to support businesses that have been forced to close because of national COVID-19 restrictions. These include companies in the retail, hospitality, and leisure sectors, as well as events and exhibitions businesses. The scheme was announced by the UK Government on 31st October 2020 with an initial £1bn funding allocation, with a further £594m issued in early January 2021.

In January, the EIA revealed the uneven implementation of the ARG across many local authority areas. A subsequent Freedom of Information (FOI) submitted to councils from the EIA has revealed that local authorities have only paid an average of 13.4 per cent of ARG funding received from the UK Government. The FOI data revealed that the figure was even lower for some local authorities – including Bristol City Council (7%), Herefordshire Council (5%), Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (4%), West Oxfordshire District Council (4%), and Chorley Council (10%). Some local authorities, such as Ealing Council who received £9,872,400 in ARG funding, had not made any payments as of January 26th.

Businesses within the exhibitions sector include numerous small and medium sized suppliers and event organising companies, who currently face an inability to earn revenues due to national COVID-19 restrictions and were relying on the ARG to meet short term costs including wage payments to employees.

The wider exhibitions industry has been shut since March 2020 due to national COVID-19 restrictions, and plays a critical role in the UK economy, and prior to the pandemic was generating £11bn in economic activity and supporting 114,000 jobs.

Andrew Harrison, Director, Event Supplier and Services Association (ESSA), a constituent part of the EIA said: “We are making an urgent call on the UK Government and local MPs across England to provide clear guidance to local authorities on issuing the Additional Restrictions Grant, in order that payments are made to eligible companies as soon as possible. Businesses in the events and exhibitions sector have been forced to close due to COVID-19 restrictions and therefore require appropriate financial support if they are not permitted to operate. It is now up to local authorities to ensure proper economic support is delivered to the sector.”

The EIA submitted Freedom of Information Requests to all English local authorities in early January. By 9th February 2021 a total of 31 authorities had provided data pursuant to the request.

Loading

Testimonials

  • "Great day hosting our first AEV working group event!..WOW did I learn a lot and some great insights into how other venues work and the challenges they are trying to overcome. If you are a venue looking to network with other like minded professionals I would recommend looking at joining the AEV".
    Danielle Worker
    Corporate Events Team Leader, Silverstone Circuits Ltd
  • "“Great catering...is essential for a successful venue. The AEV provides a platform to establish consistent best practice in this field"
    Phil Wetz
    Retail & Catering Manager, ExCeL London
  • “The AEV provides collective representation for its member venues, turning individual commitment into a group effort"
    Paul Brough
    Venue Health & Safety Manager, Olympia London
  • "Proud to be part of this Cross Association discussion. I am confident in our ability to improve and progress our working platform through conversation".
    Amir Vered
    Head of eForce and IT, Olympia London (Chair of Cross Association Technology WG)
  • “The AEV is essential to the venue sector’s ability to cooperate and collaborate"
    Jazmin Beale
    Head of Marketing & Communications, Olympia London
  • “The AEV undertakes crucial work on behalf of event venues up and down the country to ensure our voice is heard. They reinforce the important role our sector plays in delivering economic impact, increasing trade, providing jobs and driving the visitor economy.”
    Lucy Merritt
    Head of Marketing and Communications, ExCeL London
  • AEV Membership is a key part of our business strategy; it has and will continue to be a core elements of our plan to support knowledge sharing in the industry and to develop both our team and the venue.
    Kate Vandenburg
    Marketing Director - Business Design Centre
  • Our team at ACC Liverpool feel indebted to the substantial work that the AEV do for our amazing industry. As the pillar association for venues across the country it’s a real privilege for our teams to participate in many of the working groups, learning and contributing to new processes which helps drive our industry forward on a national scale.
    Colm Graham
    Senior Exhibition Account Manager, ACC Liverpool
  • We have benefited hugely from all of the insight, discussion, events and networking, but it has also meant that we have been able to give back to the industry by sharing our unique experiences and professional knowledge and allowing our employees to help lead and shape the Association from the inside.
    Mathew James
    Head of Brand, Telford International Centre
  • “The AEV has been an invaluable asset to us as a company and the wider industry, helping to lobby on the industries behalf, consolidating and distributing information and facilitating vital knowledge sharing.”
    Charlie Hodgson
    Managing Director at The Kia Oval