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Chancellor Offers Financial Support to Music Venues

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has acknowledged that grassroots music venues across the UK are facing unprecedented challenges to remain in business, as they fight to continue promoting live music in the long-term.

Published: 18 March 2020 | 12:00 AM
Photo of sun shining on a bunch of spring flowers.
Support for our globally respected network of live performance venues at this time is crucial. Photo credit: Shutterstock

Sunak offered a ray of hope for businesses by guaranteeing an “unprecedented” £330bn package of support to bolster the economy as the outbreak escalates.

The Chancellor added in today’s statement that if more help was needed it would be provided, with a pledge to deliver “whatever it takes” to keep companies solvent.

He also promised these were only “the first steps” and that he was talking to unions and business groups with the aim of protecting jobs and incomes.

Welcome scrapping of business rates

The MU welcomes confirmation that business rates will be scrapped this year for all companies in the retail, leisure and hospitality sector, as “every single shop, pub, theatre, music venue, restaurant will pay no business rates for twelve months.”

Sunak underlined the importance of businesses in these sectors by adding “that if they have a rateable value of less than £51,000, they can now get a cash grant as well.”

He confirmed that for the smaller businesses in the sector who do not have insurance, the government will provide the grants of £25,000 per business “to help bridge through this period.”

Crucial support for live performance venues

Dave Webster, MU National Organiser for Live Performance, said:

“Support for our globally respected network of live performance venues at this time is crucial.

“The issues triggered by the virus outbreak, and the resulting threat to our music culture base, demand that clubs, pubs, managers and promoters receive such key financial assistance.”

It's possible that there might be slight adjustments to this plan by the devolved governments, and we will keep members updated as soon as we have more information.

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