The UK’s exit from the EU will have a significant impact on local communities and businesses. The LGA, along with local government associations in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, is meeting regularly with ministers and officials to discuss issues important to councils.
- Brexit presents opportunities to do things differently. Powers repatriated from the European Union must not simply reside in Westminster, Holyrood, Cardiff Bay and Stormont. This is an opportunity to devolve powers to local authorities to better connect local areas with future prosperity, improve local skills and bring decisions over public services closer to the people affected by them.
- One area where we do face a challenge is around workforce and skills. The UK is already suffering a skills crisis. Forecasts produced for the LGA by the Learning and Work Institute predict that, by 2024, a growing skills gap will result in a shortage of 4.2 million skilled people to fill demand. This equates to a loss of £90 billion in economic output.
- The UK hospitality sector is highly reliant on EU nationals, with between 12.3 per cent and 23.7 per cent of the sector’s workforce made up of EU migrants. KPMG estimates that the hospitality sector currently requires 62,000 EU migrants per annum to be able to maintain current activities and to grow.
- Within the Accommodation and Hospitality sector specifically, 13.2 per cent of workers are EU nationals, the third highest level after Manufacturing of Food and Beverages (24.3 per cent) and Warehousing (18.5 per cent).
- Tourism in the UK is currently worth £126.9 billion per annum and employs over 3.1 million people. It is our 7th largest export industry and the fastest growing sector.
- Councils support local tourism with investments worth £70 million per year, spent on business support, visitor information and destination marketing. They spend a further £2.6 billion every year on culture and heritage and support major cultural, business and supporting events. They also lead on planning and infrastructure development that is critical to the visitor economy.
- We are working with VisitBritain, the Tourism Industry Council and government departments at a national level to create the right environment for the tourism sector to thrive and locally with the businesses and communities in our areas; now and beyond the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.
- The LGA recently conducted a survey of local museums and found that many councils identified European funding as a source of existing or potential income.
- The Government should ensure that adequate investment goes to local arts and cultural services as well as to economic and social regeneration once the UK leaves the EU, and should advocate for the economic and strategic value of cultural services.
Download the full briefing
The impact of Brexit on tourism and creative industries, House of Commons,17 April 2018