Before the Chancellor’s Spring Statement last week, Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith joined a cross-party group of MPs to call for cheaper business rates for small music venues.
As a member of the APPG on Music, Jeff added his name to a letter to the Chancellor calling for grassroots music venues to qualify for discounted business rates to ensure they are able to remain open.
Speaking about the APPG’s letter, Jeff said:
“As a former DJ and events producer, I understand the cultural value held by small music venues, as well as the significant contributions they make to the UK economy.
Unfortunately, live music venues across the country are facing increasing financial pressures and many have been forced to close their doors in recent years.
I believe that the change to business rates that the APPG are asking for would not only help to support small venues, but would also act to protect musical heritage across the country.”
UK Music CEO Michael Dugher said:
“Grassroots venues are an essential part of our brilliant and diverse music industry that contributes £4.5bn a year to the economy. Piling the pressure on them with huge rent hikes just means more will face the threat of closure – something that could cause incalculable damaged to the music industry’s talent pipeline.
“The Government talked a lot about the need for an industrial strategy. Here’s a chance to put words into action”.