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Latest COVID 19 News – 21.5.2020

Last night on the Government’s Daily Coronavirus Update, the Culture Secretary announced that he was establishing a “Cultural Renewal Taskforce” which caught people by surprise.


Since then a press statement has been released which provides more detail on this. It would seem that this group is what was trailed as being the “Recreation and Leisure Taskforce” in previous announcements and covers DCMS’s responsibilities including tourism, culture, heritage


We were previously told that the Taskforce would be ministerial with health advisors but this has been revised so that it is private sector lead. The membership is:

  • Tamara Rojo (English National Ballet)
  • Alex Scott (former England international and Arsenal footballer and now a Sports Broadcaster)
  • Sir Nicholas Serota (Arts Council England Chair)
  • Edward Mellors (Mellors Group Events)
  • Neil Mendoza (Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal, Entrepreneur, publisher and philanthropist)
  • Lord (Michael) Grade of Yarmouth (TV executive and former Chair of BBC and ITV)
  • Baroness (Martha) Lane-Fox of Soho (Founder of
  • Mark Cornell (Ambassador Theatre Group)


It should be noted that there is a representative of the Tourism Industry still to be appointed to this Taskforce.


The focus of the groups’ work will be on:

  • ensuring that COVID-19 secure guidelines are developed in line with the phasing ambitions and public health directions, building on the existing (work settings) guidance and providing intelligence and sector-specific expert input
  • develop creative solutions, including digital solutions, to drive the return of sectors whilst maintaining consistency with the medical advice
  • agreeing and ensuring alignment of all relevant sectoral guidance
  • providing key sector stakeholders direct access to ministers


They are meeting for the first time tomorrow so we should get further details on their work, and the work of our Visitor Economy Working Group, when we reconvene next Wednesday (the Visitor Economy Working group is one of the eight groups that feed into this Taskforce).


Here’s a link to the full announcement:
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