United Kingdom

Arlene Phillips calls for more funding to help creative sector out of coronavirus slump

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips yesterday called for more funding for the performing arts.

The choreographer joined musicians and dancers, including girls in tutus, outside Parliament to highlight the plight of the live events industry and the workers at risk of losing their jobs.

Miss Phillips, 77, said: 'Everyone in the performing arts is suffering from a loss of income, loss of respect, loss of performing, and most of all, the loss of the understanding that dance is a passion turned into a career only by years of punishing study harder than most athletes.'

Former Strictly Come Dancing judge Arlene Phillips, 77, yesterday joined musicians and dancers, including girls in tutus, outside Parliament to call for more funding for the performing arts

The Government has announced a £1.57billion culture recovery fund for organisations including Shakespeare's Globe, Sadler's Wells and the Old Vic theatre.

However, freelancers have said their livelihoods are still at risk and they may not benefit from the fund.

Debbie Moore, founder of Pineapple Dance Studios, added: 'Over 40 years ago I opened Pineapple to provide a home in Covent Garden for dancers both amateur and professional from all over the world, providing dancers for the global dance industry and musical theatre which is a huge contributor to our economy, yet without support the dancers cannot continue to train and therefore in turn contribute to the economy.'

The Government has announced a £1.57billion culture recovery fund but freelancers have said their livelihoods are still at risk and they may not benefit from the fund

The Survival In The Square events will also see comedians, singers, actors and opera singers stage protests.

Gary White, lead producer from organiser £WeMakeEvents, said: 'The latest Government support packages, although welcome, are not reaching the majority of those who need them the most and will only benefit a small group. 

'Larger, more meaningful action needs to be taken.

'With Survival in the Square, we truly want to showcase the diversity of performance and just how far the live events industry stretches.

Miss Phillips, 77, said: 'Everyone in the performing arts is suffering from a loss of income, loss of respect, loss of performing, and most of all, the loss of the understanding that dance is a passion turned into a career only by years of punishing study harder than most athletes' 

'We want to display to Parliament the spectrum of skills and talent involved within live events. 

'These cross over into the hospitality sector, yet aren't eligible for any of the hospitality funds recently announced by the Government.

'We need to ensure the Government realises what we bring to the UK economically and culturally. 

'We will be a good return on investment for the future, and that we will continue to campaign until there is sufficient support for everyone involved in our industry.'

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