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Capturing the impact of COVID-19 on the creative industries

At a time of huge uncertainty across all sectors, many are trying to understand the ongoing impact of COVID-19 on the workforce. In the creative industries there is a particular ambition to understand what this looks like, with important features of the sector like public venues, freelance workers and micro-businesses particularly threatened by the pandemic.

Understanding the sector’s needs through surveys

The Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) is looking to create a fuller understanding of the impact of COVID-19 on the sector. To do this, the PEC has launched a page of resources which is updated daily and collates the rapidly growing number of initiatives to collect survey data on the impacts. The PEC was founded on the belief that better evidence enables better policy making, and during this pandemic our ambition is to assist policymakers in targeting their support efforts to those who most need it, when they most need it. Understanding the response from the sector through survey results and other data initiatives will help policymakers make the best decisions possible.

We have also asked those who work in the creative industries to feed into these initiatives, if they are able to. This will help to create the clearest possible picture of the unfolding impacts that the crisis is having on the sector.

Capturing data beyond surveys for a wider view

Of course, surveys are not the only instrument for collecting data on the ongoing impacts of COVID-19. We are aware that the creative industries are tracking other data like video on demand and streaming data. What companies say in public, including on their websites, and what is reported in the media also contains valuable information. At the PEC we are interested in talking to and signposting such data efforts too. Again, this will allow policymakers to gain a rounded view of the experiences and challenges that the sector is facing during the pandemic, and to respond accordingly.

Consolidating the resources

The page of resources can be found on the PEC website. We want this to be the go-to place for data that will give policymakers a sense of the economic and social impacts of Covid-19 on the sector, as well as somewhere for industry to come and find ways to share their experiences.

For practical advice for those in the creative industries dealing with the pandemic including links to sub-sector and union advice, the Creative Industries Federation have pulled together a list of key resources.


Hasan Bakhshi

Hasan Bakhshi

Hasan Bakhshi

Director, Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre

Hasan oversaw Nesta's creative economy policy, research and practical work.

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