UK Music gives cautious Budget welcome

08/03/2017 London, UK: UK Music has given a cautious welcome to today’s Budget measures which limit some of the harmful effects of business rate rises, but called for greater clarity about the impact on live music venues.

The live music sector has had serious concerns about how small and grassroots venues will be affected by the overhaul in business rates, which will lead to large rises in many urban areas and could force many to close.

UK Music wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer at the weekend (the text of which can be found here) on behalf of the UK Live Music Group to voice its concerns and to call for extra measures to mitigate the harmful effects on culture and creativity in communities. In places like central London, large business rate hikes could prove catastrophic for small live music outfits already facing considerable financial pressure.

UK Music chief executive Jo Dipple said: “UK Music welcomes the commitment to wider reform of business rates before the next revaluation and the pledge to establish the discretionary relief fund. But the Government must set out the exact formula for this relief and the timeframe for rate reform at the earliest opportunity to give confidence to music businesses affected by rate increases.

“A discount for pubs is potentially good news, but it is unclear as to whether this will apply to music venues too. We seek assurances from the Government that this will indeed help out the hardest-hit music venues.”

Notes to editors

UK Music will be responding to a consultation about the business which will be eligible for inclusion as pubs over the coming days

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