New government to push forward events strategy

The Department for Culture, Media and Sport's 'Business visits and events strategy' is "very much on [new] ministers' radar", according to the chairman of the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP), Michael Hirst.

New culture secretary John Whittingdale plans to work closely with the events industry
New culture secretary John Whittingdale plans to work closely with the events industry

The report, which was published in March ahead of the General Election, set out a cross-government strategy to add long-term value to the UK events industry. Recommendations included the creation of a Business Visits & Events Board that will comprise of industry representation with government departments and agencies.

Culture secretary John Whittingdale has responded to the event industry’s request to fulfil the report’s recommendation by acknowledging the importance of business tourism, as well as expressing his wish to work closely with the industry. 

Meanwhile, tourism minister Tracey Crouch has shown interest in working closely with BVEP to discuss the next steps in implementing the scheme.

The department of business secretary Sajid Javid, who launched the report while heading up the culture office in the last government, has also indicated that it has started working on building the strategy, and is in discussions with the No. 10 Policy Unit.

Hirst said: "I am reassured by the feedback I have received that the strategy is very much on ministers’ radar. Obviously new ministers need some time to consider all the various policy areas in which they are involved. 

"However it is clear that with the new ministers already having a strong understanding of the benefits from business tourism through their past membership of the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee, and with Sajid Javid, as the new Secretary of State at Business, Innovation and Skills and the original architect of the Events Strategy, we should be able to expect the full support of the two government departments on which we most depend to move our industry forward."

More: General Election 2015 - Event profs welcome Tory win

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