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UK grassroots live music sector gets boost with tax cuts

More than £1.7m has been released back into the UK grassroots live music sector following the government’s 50 per cent cut in business rates for small and mid-sized venues.

The announcement comes after years of campaigning by charity the Music Venue Trust (MVT) and umbrella organisation UK Music, among others, which estimate around 35 per cent of grassroots venues were lost in the last decade.

Beverley Whitrick, strategic director at the Music Venue Trust, said: “This is a much needed and long overdue boost for grassroots music venues. Music Venue Trust has been working hard with government on this issue for the last four years and it is a huge breakthrough for us and the members of the Music Venues Alliance.

“We’d like to thank our partners at UK Music and Musicians’ Union for their support and help in getting this over the line.”

The cut on the tax levied on non-residential property in the UK will benefit more than 230 venues across England and Wales, which in turn will save each venue an average of £7,500 a year.

Music Venue Trust chief executive and founder Mark Davyd added: “Government, the cultural sector and the live music industry have all acted in the last 12 months to address the crisis in this sector. It’s now time for recording, streaming and publishing interests to play their part.

“Billions of pounds in revenue are being generated in the music industry from the music that is tested, developed, finds its audience and emerges from these vital spaces. PRS for Music, PPL, Universal, Warners, Sony, Spotify, Apple and Google now need to come to the table and tell us what they are going to do to make sure that continues to happen.”

Image: Dunk