Charlotte Street Partners



Commercial culture?

Written by Ralitsa Bobcheva, associate 
Edited by David Gaffney, partner
12 February 2021

Good morning,

A year of pandemic-induced lockdowns has dealt a terrible blow to the creative industries and the financial losses suffered are only part of the resulting damage. 
In a letter to the UK’s culture secretary Oliver Dowden this week, business leaders from the arts and culture sector delivered a plaintive cry, writing that “cultural ruin is becoming reality with the third lockdown”.
Prior to the pandemic, the UK’s creative industry was a vibrant sector that employed more than two million people and contributed around £116bn to the economy – more than the automotive, aerospace, life sciences and oil and gas industries combined. 
Even more importantly, the UK’s growing creative economy boosted the country’s soft power abroad, attracting talent with the creative energy that transformed a city like London into a global powerhouse. 
The mutual interdependence of the creative and commercial sectors has often been an overlooked aspect of a thriving economy. In a new report, the culture and commerce taskforce maps a route to closer collaboration between the two sectors, to accelerate economic recovery in a post-pandemic world. Its recommendations include enabling creative activation in city spaces, facilitating the exchange of skills and knowledge between culture and commerce, and establishing hubs for cross-sector innovation. 
More than two years ago now, the Bank of England’s chef economist Andy Haldane stressed the growing importance of creative events and sites that fuel the imagination, predicting that every industry and every worker may need to see themselves as creative in order to thrive. Prolonged remote working is only likely to accelerate that trend.
Culture and commerce have often been described as being worlds apart, but the pandemic has created common challenges that could make their coming together a more natural coalition. Closer collaboration could not only help both sectors navigate these difficulties, but could also create a more resilient economy as we – hopefully – start to emerge from the pandemic. 
As Kit Finnie has eloquently written in a poem commissioned by the culture and commerce taskforce: “There’s power / in bringing together disparate parts / and calling them whole.”


House impeachment managers rested their case against Donald Trump on Thursday, with the argument that the attack on the US Congress was the culmination of a presidency beset by lies and violent rhetoric, warning that “he can do this again” if not convicted.
BBC World News has been banned from airing content in Chinese territory, according to a decision announced on Thursday by the country’s broadcasting regulator. This comes a week after British media regulator Ofcom revoked the state broadcaster China Global Television Network’s licence to broadcast in the UK. 
An anti-inflammatory drug usually given for rheumatoid arthritis could cut the number of Covid-19 deaths and speed up recovery, a new scientific trial has found. The trial has also found that the drug, tocilizumab, could shorten the time spent in hospital by up to 10 days and reduce the need for a mechanical ventilator.

Business and economy

The UK economy saw a record contraction of 9.9% last year as coronavirus restrictions hit output, according to official figures by the Office for National Statistics. According to deputy national statistician, Jonathan Athow, the contraction in 2020 “was more than twice as much as the previous largest annual fall on record”.
Polling conducted by the Trades Union Congress (TUC) found that one in five employees were coming under pressure from their employer to work from offices unnecessarily. Commenting on the findings, the TUC’s general secretary, Frances O’Grady, said that unions had received hundreds of complaints from workers who felt they should be working from home to help curb the spread of Covid-19.
Yesterday, the government announced that it would create a £20m support fund for small businesses struggling to cope with the costs and regulatory disruptions caused by Brexit. Trading businesses will be offered grants of up to £2,000 to pay for practical support for importing and exporting. (£)

Columns of note

In the Independent, Oladosu Adenike makes a case for getting our emissions to zero before 2050, by looking at the disproportionate effect the climate crisis has on girls and women. If we want to show the world why we can’t afford to wait 30 years to get to net zero, she argues, we should look at countries where rising sea levels, severe droughts and humanitarian crises have already become a reality.
In the Financial TimesJemima Kelly discusses the challenges of a world that increasingly “pathologises” normal and necessary human emotions like mild stress, anxiety or discomfort. To build bridges in a post-Trump, post-Brexit world, we must engage with views that challenge us and stop pathologising uncomfortable feelings, she suggests. (£)

Cartoon source: The Telegraph


What happened yesterday?

London stocks closed on positive ground on Thursday, as investors digested the United States’ newly published employment data. The FTSE 100 closed the session up 0.07% at 6,528.72, and the FTSE 250 was 0.1% firmer at 21,017.85. Sterling was in a weaker state, last falling 0.14% on the dollar to $1.3815, and weakening 0.19% against the euro to €1.1393.
In the US, the Dow Jones Industrial Average gained 0.01%, to 31,440.34, the S&P 500 rose 0.21%, to 3,917.91 and the Nasdaq Composite added 0.41%, to 14,030.09.
In company news:
The market value of dating app Bumble has soared to more than $13bn after listing shares on the Nasdaq exchange, representing a 77% premium on its IPO price.

What’s happening today?

Red Rock Resources

Remote Monitor

UK economic announcements
(07:00) Index of Services
(07:00) Manufacturing Production
(07:00) Industrial Production
(07:00) GDP (Preliminary)
(07:00) Gross Domestic Product
(07:00) Balance of Trade

Int. economic announcements
(10:00) Industrial Production (EU)
(15:00) U. of Michigan Confidence (Prelim) (US)

Source: Financial Times

did you know

In 1908, The New York Times reported a story from Paris about a “fake hero” dog who regularly pushed children into the Seine, rescued them, and received treats from grateful parents. (Source: @qikipedia)

Parliamentary highlights

House of Commons

No business scheduled

House of Lords 

No business scheduled

Scottish Parliament 

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