Guild of Media Arts fears for creative sector in York

PRESS RELEASE April 15, 2020

Arts leaders in York are concerned that creative businesses in York cannot access support from the government in time to save them from bankruptcy.

The warning follows a number of surveys which shows that small businesses are struggling to get the support they need. Figures from the Creative Industries Federation indicate that in Yorkshire and Humberside half the creative organisations they contacted have less than four weeks worth of cash to call on.

The survey also suggests that many businesses and freelances have lost 100% of their work since the coronavirus crisis began.

Other national surveys also show that government support programmes for small businesses and the self employed are not working in the way it should.

The British Chambers of Commerce says almost two-thirds of British businesses do not have enough cash to last three months. Just 2,022 UK businesses had accessed £291.91m worth of loans through out of 309,193 enquiries.

A survey by the trade union BECTU, which represents many technical staff working in the arts, finds that around half of its 1,700 respondents said they are missing out on both the government’s schemes for employed and freelance staff.

A number of charity appeals have been set up to help arts workers in financial crisis.

Chris Bailey, clerk to York’s Guild of Media Arts, which represents 150 creative businesses in the city said,

“It is extremely worrying that the money the government promised is not yet reaching many of the small businesses in the creative sector which desperately need it. Even those creatives who are eligible for self employed support will not see any money till June. The combination of these factors represents a major crisis for the arts in York.”



Contact: Chris Bailey, Clerk, York Guild of Media Arts,,07920 450201

Notes to editors:

- For more information on the Guild of Media Arts, visit

- The Creative Industries Federation Survey was called "Your Voice, Heard", with a deadline of 17th March 2020. Some information from the survey was publish on April 7th at

- Information from the British Chamber of Commerce can be found at - BECTU's survey closed on 16th March. A news article on the findings can be found at - BECTU blogs can be found at