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NTIA & Save Our Scene Announce Demonstration Under ‘Culture Calling’, Demanding VAT Cut for Hospitality & Cultural Sectors In November budget

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Save Our Scene UK (SOS) and the Night Time Industries Association (NTIA) have come together to unleash ‘Culture Calling,’ a major campaign that promises to no longer tolerate the UK Government’s negligence towards the cultural and hospitality sectors, demanding a VAT Reduction to 12.5% for Cultural and Hospitality Sectors in the upcoming Budget.

‘Culture Calling’ is a rallying cry to anyone that values cultural spaces to stand up for these venues before they are extinguished forever. SOS and NTIA, alongside industry leaders, are calling out the government’s indifference towards our cultural sanctuaries, including Pubs, Nightclubs, Live Music Venues, Festivals, Bars, Restaurants, Cafes, Theatres, and the unsung heroes behind them.

The Government’s perpetual undervaluing of the hospitality and cultural sectors has gone on for too long, leaving millions of businesses & jobs high and dry in times of crisis. 

Over 3.8 million freelance workers were left behind during the pandemic, over 13,000 night time economy and hospitality businesses have been sacrificed since March 2020, with countless more teetering on the precipice, impacting tens of thousands of livelihoods with no end in sight (The Caterer, 2023).

In 2019 the UK Night Time Economy generated over £116 billion in revenue, employing 1.94 million people and attracting 300 million nightlife tourists to the UK. In recent times we have seen a devastating shift, with figures showing a 20 billion drop in revenue leading to 2022 and beyond, as they have had no chance to recover.

In the last few years, the UK has lost one in three much loved venues and nightclubs, and is reported to be losing two pubs everyday due to the cost of operating crisis. The knock on effect for communities is vast, leaving many with few places to socialise and connect with each other. 

Culture Calling, alongside its partners, is demanding a VAT reduction for the hospitality & cultural sectors, in line with European counterparts, that could salvage thousands of businesses and safeguard countless livelihoods, as well as give a level of hope and security to the future of the sector.

‘Culture Calling’ rides on the passion and determination of Save Our Scene and the might of the NTIA. RESY/DENCY, Jubel Beer, Riot Noise & NDML have all stepped up, so far, as campaign partners. The campaign and demonstration looks to unite a relentless collective of supporters, from mainstream media to fearless industry titans.

In the coming four weeks, Save Our Scene and NTIA will be visiting cities across the UK, raising awareness through events, interviews and activations. The campaign’s peak will be the UK’s largest-ever cultural march on Saturday, November 18th, as the industry stands together to protect what so many hold dear.

The Culture Calling demonstration marks a critical turning point for the independent businesses and cultural sectors that have been severely impacted by the challenges brought on by the ongoing crisis. 

Visit https://www.culturecallingcampaign.co.uk for more information if you dare to stand with us!

Event Details:
Date: Saturday, November 18th, 2023

Time: 14:00 PM – 18:00 PM

Location: London (Exact location to be announced soon)

Why Culture Calling?

The COVID-19 pandemic has left an indelible mark on the UK’s night-time economy and cultural landscape. Many independent businesses and artists are struggling to survive, facing mounting challenges, and in desperate need of government support. The Culture Calling demonstration will shine a spotlight on these issues and send a clear message to the government: it’s time to act.

This rally will serve as a platform for the voices of those who have been affected most profoundly by the pandemic and cut of living crisis, demanding that the government take bold action to ensure their survival and prosperity.

Michael Kill, CEO of the Night Time Industries Association, stated, “The Culture Calling demonstration is an opportunity for us all to come together and show our unwavering support for the businesses and artists who make our nightlife and cultural scene so unique. We urge the government to listen to our collective voice and reduce VAT to 12.5% in the Autumn Budget. It’s time to secure the future of our culture and economy.”

George Fleming, CEO of Save Our Scene added, “This campaign is not just about the night-time economy; it’s about safeguarding our identity, creativity, and the very soul of our communities. The Culture Calling rally is a call to action, a call to preserve our cultural heritage, which our society has always depended on and continues to do so. If we continue to allow this attack on our culture, we will be looking at a very bleak future”. 

Sacha Lord Co Founder The Warehouse Project/Parklife / Night Time Economy Adviser for Greater Manchester Added “Our sector is taxed more than any other country in Europe, where VAT averages between 8/9%. Everyone knows the cliff edge we are at and yet, our cries for help and support are falling on deaf ears. That’s why I’m throwing my full support and backing to the demonstration. VAT should be 12.5% across the board for the sector. It’ll save businesses and jobs. I call on everyone to get behind us, turn up and let our voices be heard. Strength in numbers.

Stand up for your local pub, stand up for your local restaurant & stand up for venues! Central London. Saturday November 18th. Save the date and attend to make history. Uniting for a brighter, more vibrant future for hospitality and events. 

Answer Culture’s Calling as it becomes the thunderous cultural juggernaut that will redefine the UK. “If we all come together, we can preserve our way of life,” declares George Fleming, “and we will stop at nothing to make it so”.

Why Attend?

  • UK culture is in crisis
  • Stand up for independent businesses and the arts.
  • Advocate for fair taxation within Hospitality & Culture.
  • Make a meaningful impact and be part of a positive change.
  • Continue to enjoy live music, performances, and the artistic world as we know it.

How to Get Involved:

  • Attend the Culture Calling demonstration on November 18th.
  • Follow SOS, NTIA & Culture Calling Campaign on social media for updates and news.
  • Sign up to receive campaign news & updates from the links in the profile bios
  • Support the campaign by sharing content by the organisers on your socials & by using the hashtag #standupforculture
  • Email Your MP (which will be distributed across the Culture Calling channels). 
  • Encourage your friends, family, and colleagues to join the march on November 18th. 

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