- 84 cross-party MPs sign letter in support of the wedding industry.
- Letter outlines pent-up demand in sector, worth £25bn to the British economy within the first 12 months of a resumption of trading, with £6.5bn of this due to HM Treasury.
- 824,000 UK weddings in the post-pandemic pipeline over the next two years.
- Pressure applied to government to support the sector, so it can realise this potential.
A cross-party group of MPs has written to Paul Scully MP, Minister for Small Business, Consumers and Labour Markets, stressing concern at the situation facing the Wedding Industry. The Minister, a strong supporter and advocate of the sector, has agreed to raise a set of asks with HM Treasury ahead of next month’s Budget.
With 60,000 businesses employing 400,000 workers, the MPs argue the sector – worth an average of £14.7 billion to the UK economy each year – requires urgent attention and bridging support to stay solvent, fulfil upcoming bookings, maintain jobs and boost the economy when restrictions are lifted.
Of the £14.7 billion revenue, taxes generated from weddings contributes an average of £3.8 billion to the public purse annually, with HM Treasury collecting £2.4 billion from on-the-day spend, £852 million from spend on retail and £546 million from travel, tourism and pre-wedding events. With the current backlog of weddings, this figure could rise to £6.5 billion in 2021 and £4.8 billion in 2022. Without support, it is feared these vast sums could be lost when the nation needs it most. The action comes after the UK Weddings Taskforce – the official body designated to negotiate with government – presented a detailed ask to Paul Scully MP. A full summary of what the UK Weddings Taskforce asked for can be seen on its official website, with the highlights being:
- A sector specific support grant of £680 million available to eligible wedding businesses.
- Access to support available to closely related sectors (such as hospitality) including the 5% VAT temporary reduction and rates relief.
- Extension and adaptation of existing support programmes.
- Measures to protect deposits.
- A roadmap for the gradual, safe reopening of weddings in line with government plans to publish its exit strategy in late February.
The list of signatories, organised by Neil Parish MP, includes representation from all the major parties, in all devolved nations, across the UK. The letter and full list of signatories can be seen here.