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MPs to debate better support for creative industries

By | Published on Tuesday 6 October 2020

Houses Of Parliament

UK politicians will today discuss the contribution of theatres, live music venues and other cultural attractions to the local economy in a debate titled ‘The Contribution Of Theatres, Live Music Venues And Other Cultural Attractions To The Local Economy’. Snappy title.

Called by Conservative MP Nickie Aiken, the debate will consider what the government could and should be doing to better support the creative industries through the ongoing COVID-19 crisis.

“As neighbourhoods and local economies look to recover from the pandemic it is vital to consider the impact that theatres, music venues and other cultural attractions have on their communities, both in terms of supporting finances and other business by providing jobs and footfall, but also more widely in terms of community benefit and wellbeing”, says Aiken. “I am delighted to have been able to secure this debate to highlight the issues to government and share our concerns”.

Key concerns expected to be discussed include how the government’s general COVID support schemes to date have failed to help many music companies and workers, especially freelancers, with recent changes resulting in even few music businesses and people being able to access support.

Also up for discussion is a proposal by UK Music for ministers to support a state-backed COVID-19 insurance scheme to give live performances viable and affordable cover against future cancellations forced by the virus, as well as the extension of sector-specific support to supply chain businesses in the music industry and freelancers.

Welcoming the debate, new UK Music CEO Jamie Njoku-Goodwin says: “Music venues are a vital part of local economies right across the UK. They bring huge financial and cultural benefits and are the beating heart of many communities. In addition to the direct jobs they create, venues generate vital extra trade for pubs and restaurants and benefit a host of other businesses, from taxi firms to take-away stands. These businesses rely on music venues and will struggle to survive as long as venues stay closed”.

“As an industry, we are braced for this pandemic to continue for many months”, he goes on. “But we need the right support to ensure we can make it through the other side and start delivering for local communities and local economies once again. We’re extremely grateful to Nickie Aiken for securing this debate and helping highlight the huge challenges facing our world-leading industry in the difficult times ahead”.

The debate will take place today in Westminster Hall in Parliament between 2.30pm and 4.00pm.