Cultural Renewal Taskforce announced

The Culture Secretary has announced representatives from the arts, cultural and sporting worlds who will join a new taskforce aimed at helping getting the country’s recreation and leisure sector up and running again

In total, five new ministerial-led taskforces have been set up to develop blueprints for how and when closed businesses and venues can reopen safely, following publication of the UK government’s National Covid-19 Recovery Strategy to help rebuild Britain.

Oliver Dowden, the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), will be chairing the taskforce responsible for the recreation and leisure sectors, and joining him in this important work is:

  • Tamara Rojo (English National Ballet)
  • Alex Scott (former England international and Arsenal footballer and now a Sports Broadcaster)
  • Sir Nicholas Serota (Arts Council England Chair)
  • Edward Mellors (Mellors Group Events)
  • Neil Mendoza (Commissioner for Cultural Recovery and Renewal, Entrepreneur, publisher and philanthropist)
  • Lord (Michael) Grade of Yarmouth (TV executive and former Chair of BBC and ITV)
  • Baroness (Martha) Lane-Fox of Soho (Founder of
  • Mark Cornell (Ambassador Theatre Group)

Culture Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

We are determined to do all we can to help our sectors that are such an incredible part of British life in their recovery. The Taskforce is made up of some of the brightest and best from the cultural, sporting and tech worlds. Experts in their fields, they’ll be instrumental in identifying creative ways to get these sectors up and running again.

The taskforces will be crucial to the reopening of sectors of Britain’s economy. They will support the renewal of DCMS sectors and help develop new COVID-19 secure guidelines for the reopening of public places and businesses, where and when it is safe to do so. The focus of the groups’ work will be on:

  • ensuring that COVID-19 secure guidelines are developed in line with the phasing ambitions and public health directions, building on the existing (work settings) guidance and providing intelligence and sector-specific expert input
  • develop creative solutions, including digital solutions, to drive the return of sectors whilst maintaining consistency with the medical advice
  • agreeing and ensuring alignment of all relevant sectoral guidance
  • providing key sector stakeholders direct access to ministers

As the nation’s economy begins to move towards recovery and regeneration, the Taskforce will look to see how creative new approaches could help sectors thrive in future, building on existing channels of government support (like the Coronavirus Jobs Retention Scheme, Retail, Hospitality and Leisure Grants, a 12 month business rates holiday, and £200 million of emergency public funding through the Arts Council, Historic England and National Lottery Heritage Fund).

The first meeting of the Cultural Renewal Taskforce will take place this Friday 22 May, and will meet on a weekly basis. The work of the taskforce will be supported by eight working groups chaired by DCMS Ministers, which will include representatives from key sector bodies and organisations and focused on areas like sport, entertainment and events, museums and galleries, heritage, tourism and libraries.