UK MUSIC BACKS PUSH FOR AID IN ENERGY COSTS

The call for government support for U.K. music venues and studios—which are facing an “existential threat” from spiraling energy costs—has been furthered by UK Music chief Jamie Njoku-Goodwin.

Venues, studios and other music businesses are facing closure thanks to soaring energy bills, according to the trade body. Njoku-Goodwin is calling on the British government to cut VAT from its current 20% and extend the business rate to ensure their survival.

“It’s urgent that the government takes action to support businesses with the costs they are facing,” he said. “We all saw just how miserable life was without live music during the pandemic, when venues were closed for months—the high cost of energy bills could now close them forever.”

In the U.K., an energy price cap for households doesn’t apply to businesses. Some venues are seeing energy bills rise by an average of 300%, and in some cases 740%, adding tens of thousands of pounds to operating costs. According to a case study from the Music Producers Guild, one major London recording studio expects its gas bill to rise by 600% and its electricity charge to rise by 80%. The Music Venue Trust says that around 30% of its network of venues face the threat of permanent closure.

Njoku-Goodwin’s statement joins an open letter signed by MVT and the Night Time Industries Association. The orgs detailed how the energy price hike joins a host of other “prohibitive” conditions for trading, including chronic challenges in the supply chain, labor shortages and interest rates and inflation.

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