In response to the budget, which was delivered yesterday by chancellor Philip Hammond, event planners identified economy and transport infrastructure as two key concerns for the industry.
While promised cuts to corporation tax were welcomed by the events industry earlier in the year, Randle Stonier, founder of AddingValue, said that there was nothing in the budget to suggest any major economic changes. "Since Brexit we’ve known we’d be facing major economic uncertainty and that is still the case. If anything the budget compounded that. The transport and infrastructure developments sound promising, but I don’t know how much of that is new and how much will be delivered. Having watched two election processes this year, both Brexit and Trump, it seems like it doesn’t matter what people say now. We need to see what actions are taken before we have a clearer picture of what will happen."
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For Simon Hughes, vice chair at BVEP, infrastructure developments will be key to the future of the events industry. "The challenge, given the current financial constraints, is whether enough money has been allocated. On the face of the budget, it’s good news that we’ll be getting more money for transport but more support will be needed further down the line. In terms of road and rail networks, lots of other connections are required, but this is a good start."
Meanwhile Dale Parmenter, CEO of drp, said that although the budget was a start, more needed to be done. "In my opinion it’s not a very surprising budget. I'm pleased to see the £23bn infrastructure investment by 2020 but I'd like to see that accelerated by 2017. Transport is so crucial to our industry that it needs to happen quickly. The new Oxford to Cambridge development is good news but it needs to go further with expansion into the West Country and across from east to west."
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