UK Music urges party leaders to draw up “world-leading music strategy” in general election battle for votes


UK Music is urging party leaders to put music at the heart of their general election plans with a commitment to develop a “world-leading music strategy” to support jobs and growth.

In a letter (here) to political party leaders, UK Music Interim Chief Executive Tom Kiehl calls on the party leaders to support the music industry’s role as a “key national asset” that is facing intense global competition.

He outlines to those vying to get into Number Ten how they should work with industry leaders to devise a comprehensive, long-term music strategy to help grow a sector that contributes £6.7 billion to the UK economy and supports 210,000 jobs.

Since the last General Election in 2019, UK Music and its members have actively influenced the UK government and Parliament on a number of issues to the benefit of the sector. This has included responding to the pandemic, the impact of Brexit and the exponential growth of artificial intelligence, as well as engaging with key inquiries on music streaming, misogyny in music and grassroots music.

The call to develop a music strategy is outlined in UK’s Music Manifesto for Music, which spells out the industry’s key demands ahead of polling day on July 4.

In the manifesto,UK Music outlines five headline recommendations that should form part of a Government-backed future music strategy. The proposals are:

  1. Ensure AI supports human artistry through strong copyright standards, clear labelling and record keeping requirements, and protections for the personality rights of music makers.
  2. Fix the European touring crisis by securing a Cultural Touring Agreement with the EU.
  3. Introduce a tax credit to encourage new UK music production.
  4. Invest millions more in music education and recruit 1,000 more music teachers.
  5. Secure a fair deal for music lovers by ending rip-off secondary ticketing practices.

In his letter, Tom Kiehl writes:

“We want the next Government to develop a comprehensive, medium to long-term world-leading music strategy for growth.A forward-thinking roadmap, formulated by policymakers and industry, will drive growth and success through this crucial period.

“Delivering on these asks and achieving a national music strategy will help deliver the action needed to keep the UK at the forefront of the global music industry.”

Tom adds:

“The UK music industry is a key national asset. The UK is home to some of the biggest artists, largest festivals, busiest venues, and most iconic studios in the world. Glastonbury and Abbey Road are famous across the globe and drive huge amounts of economic impact.

“The UK music industry as a whole contributes £6.7 billion to the UK economy. It also employs 210,000 people: as many as the insurance, steel, and pharmaceutical industries combined.

“Music represents the best of British to the world, with our musicians, songwriters, and producers defining the global soundtrack and shaping our global reputation. Artists such as Harry Styles, Adele, Dua Lipa, Stormzy and Ed Sheeran are household names.

“Music brings in £4 billion in export revenue and we are one of only three net exporters of music globally. In recorded music, the UK is the second largest exporter of music after only the US.”

Concluding his letter to party leaders, Tom Kiehl says:

“I wish you the best of luck in your campaigning and hope that supporting music is a key part of your manifestos.

“Together, we can work together to make the UK the best place in the world to create, perform and consume music.”

UK Music’s mission is to bring together all sectors of the music industry, in order to collaborate, campaign and champion music.

Adam Parry
Author: Adam Parry

Adam is the co-founder and editor of Adam, a technology evangelist also organises Event Tech Live, Europe’s only show dedicated to event technology and the Event Technology Awards. Both events take place in November, London.

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