UK events industry faces over 400,000 job losses without further Government support

By James McAllister

- Last updated on GMT

UK events industry faces over 400,000 job losses without further Government support according to Feast It survey

Related tags: Catering, Coronavirus, Job losses

Over 400,000 jobs in the UK events industry could be lost by the end of the year according to a survey carried out by online event planning platform Feast It.

Of the 503 businesses surveyed, which are spread across the events industry from caterers to marquee suppliers, 61% believed they will have ceased trading before March 2021 without further Government support.

This has been compounded by respondents saying the average amount lost in bookings due to the Coronavirus crisis stands at £83,000.

The poll suggests that the sector, which comprises over 25,000 businesses and more than 700,000 employees in the UK, will have suffered around 413,000 job losses by the end of this year unless it receives immediate Government support.

As part of the survey, respondents were asked what measures would help their businesses overcome the crisis. 

Just over a third (35%) cited having 'a clear road map for how events will return' as being integral to their recovery. 

A further 32% said an extension of the furlough scheme would be beneficial; 18% suggested an easing of lockdown for certain demographics; and 15% said Government-backed event specific loans would help.

Meanwhile, more than half (56%) of businesses further stated they were seeing lower than usual demand for 2021 events, while 71% said that the demand for 2022 events was the same or less than usual.

Despite the lockdown restrictions that remain placed on the sector, there have been no specific references about the events industry receiving further financial aid from the Government.

"Our incredible industry has effectively been banned," says Adrian Luckie, founder of Jamaican-style catering company Mama’s Jerk.

"We've been given no clear direction on how we can make it through this crisis and all that we're looking for at this stage is clarity on how we can survive."

The UK's events industry is reported to be worth in excess of £70bn, according to Feast It​.

"The UK is globally renowned for events," says Digby Vollrath, Feast It co-founder and CEO.

"From royal weddings to village fêtes, and from the world’s greatest music festivals to Europe’s largest Carnivals, throwing parties is in our blood. But without fast support we risk dismantling an industry that’s part of the beating heart of our national identity and all of the creativity, connections, and lifelong memories that go with it. 

"While we appreciate there is an immediate need for our industry to play a part in saving lives, there is a very real danger there won’t be the businesses available to create future events and new memories when the world goes back to normal."

Related topics: Trends & Reports

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