UK Music warn Philip Hammond that the UK’s music studios and venues “need help now”

It follows the findings of today's Spring Statement, which the Chancellor laid out in Parliament today (March 13)

UK Music have warned Chancellor Philip Hammond that the country’s music studios and venues “need help now” from the “huge hikes in business rates” following last year’s revaluation.

The organisation made the comments in response to Hammond’s Spring Statement, which was announced in Westminster today (March 13).

Hammond confirmed that a planned evaluation of those business rates will now be brought forward a year to 2021, with three-year gaps between evaluations from that year onwards also being proposed.

While UK Music said it welcomed the decision to bring the evaluation period forward a year, its chief executive Michael Dugher argued that the proposals fell short of the kind of wide review the organisation say is needed in order to aid the UK’s music industry.

Many music venues and studios are still reeling from the huge hikes in business rates following last year’s revaluation. Venues and studios need help now and can’t afford to wait until 2021,” Dugher said.

“We need an urgent review of the disproportionate rates many venues and studios face if we are to maintain our vibrant and diverse music scene. The Chancellor needs to press the fast forward button and make that happen.

“It is plainly unfair, for example, that one small venue – the Lexington in north London – has to endure a rise of 118% in its rateable value yet Arsenal FC’s 60,000-capacity Emirates Stadium nearby enjoyed a 7% cut in its rateable value.”

The organisation added that it welcomed a separate initiative by the Chancellor to provide £80 million for small and medium businesses to recruit apprentices, while also remarking that today’s announcement would help music companies in recruiting and upskilling their workforce.

Back in January, the UK Music-led campaign for the implementation of the ‘Agent of Change’ principle into law received backing from the government.