UK Music has called for an ‘urgent review’ of venue and studio business rates, following chancellor Philip Hammond’s announcement that a planned revaluation would be brought forward a year to 2021.
The campaigning and lobbying industry group welcomed the decision to bring the revaluation forward, but said the move fell ‘well short of an urgently-needed review to help thousands of businesses in the UK music industry.’
UK Music chief executive Michael Dugher said: ‘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.
‘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 percent in its rateable value, yet Arsenal FC’s 60,000-capacity Emirates Stadium nearby enjoyed a 7 percent cut in its rateable value.’
In the past decade, around 35 percent of music venues have closed, according to the Music Venue Trust charity.
Earlier this year, UK Music spearheaded a campaign to protect music venues under threat from property developers, which has now been backed by the UK and Scottish government.