skip to main content

MU Welcomes Budget Tax Relief for Theatres and Orchestras

After sustained lobbying from the MU, UK Music and other unions, the Chancellor today announced a permanent increase in the rate of tax relief for orchestras and theatres.

Published: 06 March 2024 | 4:31 PM Updated: 07 March 2024 | 2:36 PM
Back view of conductor directing a symphony orchestra on stage.
We are grateful that the Treasury has responded to requests for this from the MU, Equity and BECTU and trade bodies in both sectors. Image credit: Shutterstock.

From 1 April 2025, Orchestra Tax Relief (OTR) will be set at a permanent level of 45% for all orchestral productions. Prior to the announcement, the current temporary rate of OTR (50%) was planned to be reduced to 35% from 1 April 2025 and 25% from 1 April 2026. Theatre Tax Relief will remain at a rate of 40 per cent (and 45 per cent for touring productions).

MU General Secretary, Naomi Pohl, responded:

“A permanent increase in the rate of tax relief for orchestras and theatres is extremely welcome. We are grateful that the Treasury has responded to requests for this from the MU, Equity, BECTU, ABO, SOLT/UK Theatre and trade bodies in both sectors. The increase will give greater certainty for organisations at a time when funding is precarious and the costs of touring have sky-rocketed.

“For the Musicians' Union, we hope this will lead to greater opportunities, more secure work and ultimately better pay for our members. Musicians in theatre and the orchestral world are struggling and they need some relief from the constant threat posed by diminishing resources.”

Get support as a live musician through MU membership

Over 11,000 MU members are live performing musicians. Whether you are playing at music festivals, performing at events or busking in the streets – MU membership is essential for your protection and career progression.

Resources and services for live performing MU members

Explore all membership benefits

Get support as a live musician through MU membership

Continue reading

Exterior of the Wales Millennium Centre Cardiff, where the Welsh National Opera is based.

MU Responds to Welsh National Opera Cuts

Musicians' Union members in the orchestra of Welsh National Opera (WNO) are facing a reduction in working weeks, equating to a 15% pay cut as a result of a funding shortfall for the company.

Published: 28 March 2024

Read more about MU Responds to Welsh National Opera Cuts
An almost silhouette of a women from behind in front of a stage in the spotlight.

Gabriella Di Laccio and the Donne Foundation: Championing Women in Music

This Women’s History Month we share a powerful guest blog from an award-winning soprano, recording artist, public speaker, curator and activist. Meet Gabriella Di Laccio, the unstoppable force behind Donne, Women in Music - a charitable foundation which is breaking records and influencing change.

Published: 14 March 2024

Read more about Gabriella Di Laccio and the Donne Foundation: Championing Women in Music
Vulva Voce standing in a dark room holding their instruments.

International Women’s Day 2024: Vulva Voce on Breaking the Conventions of Classical Music

In this blog, all-female genre-defying string quartet Vulva Voce celebrate their recent involvement in a world record for the longest acoustic music live-streamed concert, and share the powerful reminder that music written and performed by women and non-binary people is abundant and limitless.

Published: 06 March 2024

Read more about International Women’s Day 2024: Vulva Voce on Breaking the Conventions of Classical Music