Saturday 4 April 2020

Economic Slump Will Hit UK Heritage

Pound falls
The coronavirus pandemic could trigger a global slump bigger than the Great Depression of the 1930s, a closely watched international survey suggests (BBC 'Coronavirus: UK among economies risking record slump' 3 April 2020).
Manufacturing and services sectors in key geographical areas, including the UK, US and the eurozone, saw record falls in activity during March, according to Purchasing Managers’ Index data. The UK figure, dropped from 53.0 in February to 36.0 in March. Readings below 50 indicate contraction [...] Andrew Wishart, an economist at Capital Economics, said the PMIs were probably underestimating the scale of the economic fallout.
It remains to be seen how the tourism industry will recover, if we do not totally eradicate the virus (which at the moment looks a bit unlikely in the near future), any travel, anywhere, is going to be a problem in years to come. Therefore heritage solutions that are based on notions of 'cultural tourism' really need rethinking. Also the very globality of the spread of the Virus and the fact that it cannot be dealt with within single-nation units - but globally - may even lead to a rethinking of nationalisms as well, and thus notions of a national cultural heritage.

In the age of economic depression, how long will Britain be able to afford a PAS and Treasure ransom system? Especially without EU money to help bail them out. We'd better start thinking how to deal with this, before we allow Treasure Hunting to overwhelm us.

1 comment:

Brian Mattick said...

Given that the existence of PAS has enabled non-PAS reporting to flourish to a far greater extent than PAS reporting, we already "can't afford" PAS in heritage terms and haven't been able to do so for decades. "Look at what's recorded, not what hasn't been reported" is an outrageous stance for any recording organisation to use as a reason it should get finance.

As for "Treasure ransom" payments the question shouldn't be "can we afford them" but should we ever have started to pay them? I posed the question to an Irish friend who just laughed.

I don't know what will come out of all this but I have a couple of metal detecting hopes:
1.) That the ban on assembly will continue to include that most unworthy, damaging and yobbish of activities, commercial metal detecting rallies, for a long, long time.
2.) Plus, if they ever start up again then rather than them being held up as "for charity" that all participants should be required by law to pay up front a £40 Event Fee direct to the Government, to be used to support the NHS.

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