Music industry representative body UK Music has called on chancellor Jeremy Hunt to use his Budget to seize a “huge opportunity” to boost jobs and growth in the sector.

In a letter to the chancellor ahead of his March 15 Budget, UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin called on Hunt to back a new eight-point plan drawn up by his organisation.

UK Music’s members have created an eight-point blueprint for the Government with he aim of helping to ensure the sector “retains its competitive edge and continues to grow”.

UK Music said the UK music industry contributed around £4 billion to the UK economy in 2021, down from its pre-Covid record high of £5.8bn. The sector supports 145,000 jobs and saw exports grow 10% last year to £2.5bn.

The eight-point plan outlines where the music industry needs support:

  1. Energy Bills: Give more support to venues, studios and music spaces hit by soaring energy bills.
  2. Business Rates: Ease the tax burden on music businesses by reducing business rates on live music venues and studios.
  3. VAT: Cut VAT on live events, such as music and theatre events, to 5% to bring UK more in line with EU nations and help stimulate live music.
  4. Fiscal Incentive: Create a new tax relief for the music industry like those enjoyed by film and TV to boost music production.
  5. Export office: Set up a new music export office to drive British music exports and help future talent grow their international audiences.
  6. Orchestral Tax Relief: Extend the 50% uplifted Orchestra Tax Relief (OTR) rate and boost the sector by ditching plans to cut the rate to 25% by 2024.
  7. Arts Pupil Premium: Deliver on the manifesto pledge to introduce this extra support to help all students access music education.
  8. Transitional Support Package: The Government should set up a fund to help the music industry deal with the extra costs of leaving the EU and the impact of Brexit on touring UK musicians and crew.

Njoku-Goodwin said, “Our music industry is one of the jewels in the crown of British business. The fantastic work of international stadium-fillers like Harry Styles, Adele and Ed Sheeran, along with brilliant new talents like Wet Leg and Sam Ryder, is heard in every corner of the world.

“The global music market is ferociously competitive, and our sector needs support from Government if we are to remain world leaders and ensure our contribution to the UK economy reaches a new high in the years ahead.

“Without the right support, there will be a real threat to the talent pipeline, which the music industry relies on for the next generation of future stars.

“The eight-point plan that UK Music and our members have drawn up spells out the huge opportunity the chancellor has to help us drive jobs and growth and continue the success story of UK music.”