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Cancellation Compensation for Event Organisers in Phase Two of the Events Research Programme

Volume 697: debated on Thursday 17 June 2021

This statement is being tabled for the benefit of all Members of this House to bring to their attention the departmental minute issued today that provides the House with an update to a previous notice of a series of small contingent liabilities created by my Department. This is in relation to a policy to compensate event organisers participating in phase two of the events research programme in the event of their cancellation if public health concerns were to give rise.

The update is to extend the policy to provide cancellation compensation in full (capped at £300,000) to any event organiser putting on events specifically for the events research programme in phase two, should a pilot event be cancelled due to public health reasons. Previously this was limited to events in Liverpool only. The following text therefore provides an update to the previous statement on this issue on 26 May 2021.

The world-leading events research programme ran its first phase of nine pilots (with some running multiple events) in April and May to inform decisions around the safe removal of social distancing at step four of the roadmap. A second phase of events will continue to build on existing evidence and collect additional data to inform organisers and consumers on the logistical and practical considerations of reopening events safely. The pilots cover a range of settings, venues, and activities so that findings will support the full reopening of similar settings across multiple sectors.

The Government will provide compensation on a discretionary basis to event organisers should a pilot event be cancelled due to public health reasons.

This compensation will be capped at £300,000 per event and will cover costs incurred in relation to participation in the programme only (e.g. admission of spectators), recognising the fact that these events would have taken place in line with roadmap restrictions should the programme not exist. For events that have been put on specifically as part of the programme (i.e. would not otherwise have gone ahead), the Government will compensate organisers in full should an event be cancelled, but this will also be capped at £300,000.

The Government do not intend to cancel any event in the programme, however public safety comes first and therefore it is prudent to provide this assurance to the organisers assisting the Government in reopening the economy.

A copy of the departmental minute will be placed in the Libraries of both Houses.