Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Weatherley calls for tax breaks for small venues

Mike Weatherley MP, The co-chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Ticket Abuse and organiser of the  'Rock The House' talent contest, has written the UK's Chancellor Of The Exchequer, George Osborne, requesting tax breaks for small and medium sized live venues. The letter comes in the wake of an interim report published by the Music Venue Trust outlining the significant challenges threatening the survival of many live music venues. In a statement, Weatherley said of his letter: "Supporting live music venues is essential if we want to protect our musical heritage. Britain produces some of the best music in the world and it contributes hugely to our economy. I will continue to push for support for live music venues and hope that the Chancellor will seriously consider tax breaks or other financial incentives in order to support this important industry". The letter itself reads: "As you know, our music industry is an enormous asset to Britain both culturally and financially. At the heart of this success story are the incredibly valuable live music venues. I do not think that we can overestimate the value that live music brings to the lives of millions of people". Weatherley's letter continues "Unfortunately, for many reasons it is becoming harder for smaller live music venues to be financially viable and, as a result, alarmingly the number of venues is going down. Quite simply, the support of government and local authorities is key to the success of live music venues" adding "There is precedence of successful tax breaks for bands playing overseas and in other areas of entertainment (theatre/opera, for example, who also enjoy tax breaks and financial incentives), but not for the small and medium sized live music venues, which are the bedrock of all creative music talent" and "Given the importance of live music venues in the career development of musicians and to our economy, I hope that you will seriously consider the introduction of tax breaks or other financial incentives in order to help stem the national challenges faced by live music venues".

The Chancellor has already announced a scheme to give tax breaks to touring orchestras.

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