Belfast Telegraph

Political parties urged to support UK music industry after General Election

UK Music has written an open letter to party leaders.

Ed Sheeran has been cited as a major industry success story (Ben Birchall/PA)
Ed Sheeran has been cited as a major industry success story (Ben Birchall/PA)

By Craig Simpson, PA

Campaigners have cited Ed Sheeran and Lewis Capaldi in a plea for all political parties to protect the UK’s lucrative music industry

Party leaders contesting the upcoming General Election have been asked to guarantee the future of UK talent whatever the outcome of the vote.

Global stars and staggering revenues have been cited by industry lobbying group UK Music’s chief executive Michael Dugher.

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Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been addressed in the open letter (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

He asked Prime Minister Boris Johnson, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, and Liberal Democrat leader Jo Swinson to support the lucrative industry.

In the letter he invoked Sam Fender, Sheeran and Capaldi as examples of the UK’s musical success, which requires copyright protection, infrastructure, and education to continue.

He wrote: “Year after year, decade after decade, this country produces incredibly creative musical talent that consistently takes the world by storm.

“People around the world still look in awe at British musicians

“Year after year, decade after decade, this country produces incredibly creative musical talent that consistently takes the world by storm.

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Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn tries a guitar (Peter Byrne/PA)

“People around the world still look in awe at British musicians.”

Mr Dugher added: “The UK music industry supports well over hundreds of thousands of jobs and contributes a massive amount to both the British economy and our cultural life.

“This General Election could be game-changing for all sorts of reasons and I’m determined to make sure that the voice of our vibrant and diverse music industry is heard loud and clear, whoever ends up in Downing Street.”

UK Music has outlined a number of areas of concern for which is has sought support and assurance from political leaders.

These include protecting copyright for UK creators, despite exiting EU legislative arrangements.

The group has also called for better music education for young people, amid declining numbers of students taking the subject, particularly those from less privileged backgrounds.

The letter also calls for the infrastructure and venues to keep talent continually emerging.

Mr Dugher added: “At this critical time as our country prepares to head to the polls on December 12 and elect a new Parliament to tackle the challenges we face, UK Music seeks the support of all political parties, and the candidates representing them, for a vision of the music industry that will tackle fundamental issues, enable even greater future success to continue and promote growth.”

UK Music will release a report into the health of the industry on November 20.

PA

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