MPs are set to increase the pressure on the Government to help the UK’s besieged music industry in a special House of Commons debate due to take place between 2.30pm and 4pm this afternoon (October 6).
Conservative MP Nickie Aiken, whose Cities of London and Westminster constituency includes a host of music venues, has secured the debate which will be titled The Contribution Of Theatres, Live Music Venues And Other Cultural Attractions To The Local Economy.
According to figures compiled by UK Music, pre-Covid the UK music industry contributed £5.2 billion a year to the economy, sustained 190,000 jobs and generated exports of £2.7 billion a year.
UK Music has called on the Government to give more support to the music industry, noting that 72% in the sector who are self-employed - many of whom are not eligible for Government financial support – have been particularly hard hit.
UK Music has also called for an extension of VAT and business rate reliefs, an extension to protection from eviction and for rent breaks for music spaces to be considered.
Nickie Aiken MP said: “As neighbourhoods and local economies look to recover from the pandemic it is vital to consider the impact that theatres, music venues and other cultural attractions have on their communities, both in terms of supporting finances and other business by providing jobs and footfall, but also more widely in terms of community benefit and wellbeing. I am delighted to have been able to secure this debate to highlight the issues to government and share our concerns.”
UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin added: “Music venues are a vital part of local economies right across the UK. They bring huge financial and cultural benefits and are the beating heart of many communities. In addition to the direct jobs they create, venues generate vital extra trade for pubs and restaurants and benefit a host of other businesses, from taxi firms to take-away stands. These businesses rely on music venues and will struggle to survive as long as venues stay closed. As an industry, we are braced for this pandemic to continue for many months. But we need the right support to ensure we can make it through the other side and start delivering for local communities and local economies once again. We’re extremely grateful to Nickie Aiken for securing this debate and helping highlight the huge challenges facing our world-leading industry in the difficult times ahead.”