Event industry support fund 3: equality impact assessment
Equality impact assessment for the event industry support fund 3.
Events make a key contribution to Scotland's economy, boost Scotland's profile internationally and can enhance community engagement, empowerment and inclusion. Events can act as a catalyst for investment in infrastructure and built environment. They can increase tourism in the short and longer term, and drive spend in other sectors such as hospitality.
The industry association "2020 UK Events Report" reported direct spend of £70 billion in the events sector in the UK in 2019. VisitScotland has estimated 9% of the UK total can be attributed to Scotland, representing £6 billion of direct spend to the Scottish economy and also accounting for approximately half of the country's total visitor spend.
The Scottish Government recognises the significant impact that COVID-19 restrictions have had on the events sector in Scotland. As the events sector overlaps with other sectors and acts as a driver for other sectors such as tourism and hospitality, it is not straightforward to measure its economic and wellbeing impacts, or its impact on people with protected characteristics. We have identified three broad groups from data to capture the range of activity in the events sector: Art, Entertainment and Recreation; Accommodation and Food Services; and Transport and Storage. We think that this funding is likely to have most differential impact on people with protected characteristics relating to age, race, disability and gender. This is discussed in more detail in the Key Findings section below.
Engagement with the events sector did not raise any specific concerns about differential impacts of the restrictions and development of funding support on people with any of the protected characteristics, however, it did provide feedback that some parts of the events sector rely on zero hours workers, who may be more likely to experience socio-economic disadvantage. While it was not ultimately possible to develop a support scheme for zero hours workers due to reserved powers, fraud assessment, and interactions with the benefits and tax systems, the Scottish Government did thoroughly explore options to create a support scheme for zero hours workers as part of omicron events sector funding.
Actions Taken to Ensure Equality
In order to address the needs of many sectors adversely impacted by the omicron variant, a range of business support funds were introduced over January 2022 to provide funding to help secure jobs, safeguard businesses and to alleviate hardship, including the Event Industry Support Fund 3 and the Event Sector Top Up Fund (for which a separate EQIA has been undertaken).
Within this context of needing to react quickly, there was limited opportunity to gather evidence on the possible impacts of funding streams. Therefore this document draws upon the Equality and Fairer Scotland Impact Assessment undertaken for Events Sector Guidance, which also helped frame assessment for the PEBF and EISF 1&2, supporting consideration of the impact of events on people with protected characteristics. We also discussed fund eligibility with the Event Industry Advisory Group, which is made up of representatives from business, sporting and cultural events.
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