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EIA calls on Prime Minister and Chancellor for support package for UK exhibitions sector and a clear road map to reopening the sector

Ahead of the expected announcement by the Prime Minister on 22 February setting out a roadmap for easing UK Covid-19 restrictions and the forthcoming Budget, the Events Industry Alliance is calling for the government to implement a targeted short term support package for the UK exhibitions sector and a clear road map to reopening the sector in a COVID-secure way once national restrictions ease.

The EIA is calling for:

· Publication of a roadmap and detailed guidance for the reopening the exhibitions sector as current national restrictions are eased

· Extension of furlough scheme for 12 months for sectors such as exhibitions facing ongoing restrictions

· For companies in the sector to be included in an extended business rates relief scheme

· A Government backed insurance indemnity scheme to enable the sector to reopen once Government restrictions lift

· A £225m Event and Exhibitions Recovery Fund to sustain the cash flow of impacted businesses

· Action to address the uneven implementation of existing business support measures by Local Authorities as EIA research has shown that £1.3 billion of Associated Restricted Grants has yet to be paid out to eligible businesses four months after the scheme was introduced

Chris Skeith, CEO of the Association of Event Organisers, a member of the EIA, commented:

“The UK exhibitions sector has been effectively closed for the last 12 months and faces several more months of restrictions. Vital parts of the ecosystem needed to resume events and exhibitions in the UK, which is a key driver of wider economic activity and the country’s competitiveness, will not survive the coming months unless targeted, time-limited government support is given and a clear roadmap to reopening the sector is issued.”

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