Equity welcomes further support for freelancers in Wales

Equity has welcomed today's announcement that creative freelancers in Wales will receive a further round of support worth £8.9 million.

The new round of support funding from the Cultural Recovery Fund will mean each of the freelancers already supported will receive an additional £2,500 to support them through this extended period of reduced activity. 

Simon Curtis, Equity National Official for Wales said: "We are delighted that the Welsh Government continue to recognise the importance of the freelance workforce here in Wales with this additional £8.9m of direct funding. At a time of continued uncertainty as to when activities may return to anywhere near 'normal' we know that this money will continue to help and support our members.

"It is almost 12 months since our industry's closure and we have seen the support available through the UK Government's Self Employment Support Scheme not reach 40% of our members here in Wales, and even for those that were able to access the scheme almost 60% did not find it sufficient to meet their basic needs. Through the Social Partnership link between the unions and the Welsh Government we have been able to make the case for the financial plight of our members directly to ministers and officials and they have provided additional support, including this latest round, of almost £20m directly into the pockets of our members at this difficult time. 

"We will continue to work with them and support their commitment to involving the freelance community in building back fairer, alongside finding a roadmap to reopening the sector as soon as it is safe to do so."

Equity General Secretary Paul W Fleming said: “Only meaningful government intervention is going to see our members through this pandemic, and keep our industry & its workforce intact. It is testament to the hard work of Equity members and staff - supported by the whole trade union movement - that we’ve achieved this freelance fund.

"Full credit goes to the Welsh government in continuing to step up, with limited resources, to support the freelance community, over 40% of whom have not received a penny from the UK government’s SEISS scheme.”