Cross-party MPs seek additional support for music industry
A cross-party group of 22 MPs has called on the Government to introduce a raft of measures to help the music industry weather the extension to lockdown rules.
The group, which includes representatives of the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Green and Scottish Nationalist parties, said the sector faced a “profound challenge” in the pandemic and that its workers are a “national asset who will be critical to the recovery”.
The live music sector, including nightclubs, had been preparing for a June 21 restart at full capacity but this has been delayed until July 19 amid a rise in cases.
MPs are calling for a Government-backed coronavirus cancellation insurance scheme for live events, the extension of support to match the extension of restrictions, parity across UK nations and regions with regards to the extension of the 100% business rate relief, and additional support for freelancers.
Among those who have backed the early day motion are Conservative MP David Warburton, former shadow culture minister and Department for Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee member Kevin Brennan and Green Party former leader Caroline Lucas.
Jamie Njoku-Goodwin, chief executive of industry body UK Music, said: “It’s welcome to see support for the UK music industry from MPs right across the political spectrum. Now it’s vital that this cross-party support is converted into action by Government.
“We are determined to play our part in helping drive the post-pandemic recovery and want to see live music events back as soon as possible.
“With the right support from the Government, the music industry can get back on its feet and deliver a summer of live music and create thousands of jobs.”
Mr Warburton, who is chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music, said: “I’m acutely aware of how challenging this pandemic has been for musicians and the broader music industry – and this situation has only been made worse by the delay to the Covid road map.
“I’m delighted that the Government has lifted and extended the ban on commercial evictions and supported many music venues, but more support is urgently needed to match the extension of restrictions.
“Our excellent music industry is a national asset and it needs our support, now more than ever.”
A Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport spokeswoman said: “Our support for the music industry throughout the pandemic has been unwavering, with over £200 million allocated to over 800 organisations via our unprecedented Culture Recovery Fund and more support is on the way.
“We are aware of the wider concerns about securing indemnity cover and are exploring what further support may be required when the sector is able to reopen.”