Latest Update – 13th April

  1. Response letter below from The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities to the letter sent by BVEP and other trade associations to the Chancellor concerning the Government’s £1.5 billion business rates relief scheme.  The reply has been shared with Rachel Reeves, the Shadow Chancellor and her team asking for their support.

Thank you for your email and attached letter of 11 March to the Rt Hon Rishi Sunak MP, about the Government’s £1.5 billion business rates relief scheme. I am replying as this matter falls within this department’s responsibilities.

The Government recognises the disruptive effect that the pandemic has had on businesses, employment and the wider economy which is why they have provided a package of support worth over £350 billion. As part of this package, the Government have provided business interruption Loans, the job retention scheme to help firms continue to keep people in employment and the deferral of VAT payments.

The Government have provided enhanced support of over £16 billion through the business rates system in 2020/21 and 2021/22 and at Budget 2021, the Government announced a new relief for 2022-23 worth almost £1.7 billion for eligible retail, hospitality, and leisure businesses in England. In addition, the Government froze the business rates multiplier in 2021-22, saving businesses in England an estimated £575 million over the next five years and is doing so again in 2022-23. This represents a tax cut worth £4.6bn over the next five years supporting all business rate payers.

As you note, in addition to the business rates support outlined above, the Government announced a further business rates relief fund worth £1.5 billion. The COVID-19 Additional Relief Fund (CARF) is designed to support businesses that have been affected by the pandemic but have not been eligible for existing support linked to business rates.

In parallel with the enactment of the Bill, this Department published guidance for local authorities, which includes the eligibility criteria and local authority allocations for CARF. This can be found at:

The CARF scheme gives local authorities flexibility to determine their own local schemes and criteria, having regard to the guidance and their own local economic conditions. Decisions on the award of relief rest with local authorities and, although the relief must only be applied against a 2021/22 liability, authorities can award relief after the end of March 2022.

With regards.


Edward Stanislas

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

  1. A copy of the news bulletin issues by AEV advising on the preferred use of SIC codes by event businesses. Please note the recommended adoption of five codes to encompass business activity within the Events Industry. Other BVEP Partners are encouraged to ask their members to use these codes when classifying their business activities.
AEV News Bulletin
One of the many challenges we had when engaging with the Government during the pandemic was providing evidence of the size of our industry.  From a statistics point of view, our industry is currently “invisible” due to the lack of data tracking our businesses. 
Gathering data to increase event industry awareness
To generate data, and in turn statistical presence and awareness of the events industry, it is essential for us to use relevant Standard Industrial Classification of economic activities (SIC) codes. 
These codes differ from your standard tax code; they are used purely to track the size of your business and its contribution to the industry. By supplying this data, it enables the tracking of the number of companies operating in the industry and gives an indication of emerging trends and the strength of the UK economy.
EIA has been working with other BVEP partners (Beam, PLASA and others from the EU and USA) in campaigning for some changes to these codes to make them more relevant – but it may take years. For this reason, we are suggesting an interim solution.

There are over 600 individual SIC codes to choose from so we have made a selection of five which, although may not match your business exactly, do represent the events industry. The more of these five you use, the more likely our contribution will be seen and measured. 

You are required to provide at least one code but can submit up to four codes
Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Codes
We have discovered that the most commonly used code among our members is 68202 and we ask that you add this to your companies house registration as soon as possible.  This can be in addition to the codes you already use but it would further the cause if you would also use as many of the remaining four codes (56210, 82301, 82302, 90020) as possible.   
68202 Letting and operating of conference and exhibition centres
56210 Event catering activities.
    90020 Support activities to performing arts 82301 Activities of exhibition and fair organisers   82302 Activities of conference organisers        
  1. Information from “LIVE” of changes to EU Cabotage Regulations to help EU touring.
LIVE’s touring group, under Craig Stanley, has been working hand-in-hand with the Department for Transport to successfully save major European concert tours planned for this summer from cancellation.
Following Brexit, British trucking companies found themselves severely limited by EU cabotage regulations, termed the ‘three stops and you are out rule’ by the touring industry. 
Music will now be able to continue across Europe this summer due to the introduction of an interim measure, which will allow touring artists the opportunity to work freely in the UK and Europe. 
The interim measure negotiated by LIVE and agreed by the DfT provides a practical work-around solution that allows larger operators to keep their trucks rolling, by setting up an EU base while maintaining operations in the UK.
LIVE continues to work towards a permanent solution capable of securing European tours into the future, such as the negotiation of an EU-wide cultural exemption.