|UK Music CEO Michael Dugher with DCMS Secretary of State Jeremy Wright|
18/01/2019: UK Music CEO Michael Dugher today (Friday) welcomed Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright's keynote speech on the value of culture to the UK at the Belgrade Theatre in Coventry.
According to UK Music’s Measuring Music report (here) music is worth £4.5 billion to the economy, generates £2.6 billion in exports & employs over 145,000 people.
Mr Dugher joined the DCMS Secretary of State where the first five beneficiaries of the £20m Cultural Development Fund were also announced.
As part of a Q&A following the speech, the Secretary of State stated that the current flexibility that the UK benefits from due to freedom of movement of talent post-Brexit should continue.
On the importance of cultural subjects in education, Jeremy Wright said every child should have “the opportunity to stand on a stage or even stand behind the stage” and that it is a tragedy and waste of talent when this does not happen.
Concerning the power of music on tourism, the Secretary of State stated that one Ed Sheeran track led to 100,000 more visits to Framlingham Castle in Suffolk.
The Secretary of State used his speech to underline the importance of the arts to health and well-being, as well as recognising the transferable skills and benefits of young people studying music.
He also backed music’s ability to boost the cultural sector, reminding the audience that 8 of the top 10 artist albums in 2017 were from UK acts, and the Government’s pride in its ability to boost exports and soft power.
The Cultural Development Fund is part of the Government’s industrial strategy and is designed to drive economic growth through local culture, heritage and creative industries. The successful bids announced today were from Grimsby, Wakefield, Plymouth, Worcester and the Thames Estuary area of Kent.
Commenting on the speech and the announcement on the Cultural Development Fund, UK Music CEO Michael Dugher said:
“Jeremy Wright really gets it when it comes to understanding the enormous contribution culture, including music, makes to our economy and our national life - and what’s more he’s prepared to back our culture with investment and an industrial strategy from government. Great news!”
A copy of Jeremy Wright MP’s speech is accessible here
A copy of the Government’s announcement on the Cultural Development Fund is available here