UK Music chief welcomes election of Sheffield City Region Mayor as boost for local music scene

UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher has welcomed the election of Dan Jarvis as the first mayor for the Sheffield City Region as a huge boost for music in Yorkshire.

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UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher with new Sheffield City Mayor and former paratrooper Dan Jarvis.

04/05/2018: UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher has welcomed the election of Dan Jarvis as the first mayor for the Sheffield City Region as a huge boost for music in Yorkshire.

Dan Jarvis won the battle for the important new post in Thursday’s elections.

Mr Dugher said the new City Region Mayor had a vital role working across the combined authorities in Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley and Doncaster to help grow the region’s music scene.

The UK Music CEO also said it was vital that the role and powers of the Sheffield city Region Mayor could be expanded and that the Government should now listen to calls for the Mayoral region to be extended to cover the whole historic County of Yorkshire.

The blueprint, called ‘One Yorkshire’, already has the support of Mr Jarvis and the backing of 18 of the County’s 20 local authorities.

Former British Army Major Dan Jarvis has promised to dedicate some money from the Mayor’s Community Fund to help children and young people get better access to theatres, sports events and other cultural activities.

But Mr Dugher, who was born in Doncaster and represented Barnsley East in Parliament until standing down to run UK Music last year, said the new role should also help nurture the region’s music scene, especially if the job could be expanded to cover the whole county.

At present, the London Mayor has a ‘music board’ to champion London’s music scene. It is based on four key objectives: Supporting grassroots music venues; supporting young people and music education; fostering communities and talent; and developing London Music Month and music tourism.

Mr Dugher, a former Shadow Culture Secretary, is already working with the Mayor of Greater Manchester on proposals to boost the music scene there, plus UK Music recently announced the creation of a music board for the Liverpool City Region Mayor.

Mr Dugher said:

“Yorkshire has already produced some of the biggest and best artists currently performing in music from Arctic Monkeys and Kaiser Chiefs, to Kate Rusby and Lesley Garrett. But we also need to do the groundwork to produce the talent of the future.

“I work closely with other city region mayors across the rest of England, including London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, and have seen how much these new mayors can achieve to help their local music scenes. It’s vital that Yorkshire doesn’t get left behind.

“I’ve known Dan Jarvis for years. He is a superbly talented, passionate and principled public servant and community champion, and he will be a strong voice for South Yorkshire. But his election is also an important opportunity to campaign for devolution of powers to be increased and extended across Yorkshire.

“That’s why it is my firm view that having a City Region Mayor for the whole of the county – the “One Yorkshire” option – is best. One Yorkshire is already supported by 18 of the region’s 20 councils.

“Yorkshire has always been fantastic when it comes to producing great music and talent. Music brings enjoyment to millions of people, it enriches our culture and it brings huge economic benefits. We need to protect that, nurture it and grow it for the future. I know Dan Jarvis understands this and UK Music looks forward to working with him.”

More than two million people enjoyed concerts and festivals in the Yorkshire and Humberside region in 2016, according to data UK Music collects annually.

Around 849,000 people visited the region as “music tourists” to enjoy gigs or festivals, giving the local economy a significant £312m boost.

These visitors helped sustain 4,189 music industry jobs in Yorkshire and Humberside.

The Yorkshire and the Humber region economy was boosted by £312 million by music tourism last year, according to figures taken from the UK Music Wish You Were Here 2017 report. £182 million of this came from festivals, with the remaining £130 million coming from concerts.

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