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Culture Minister Nigel Adams reveals plan for new music strategy to ensure industry remains “the envy of the world”

Culture Minister Nigel Adams revealed Government plans for a new music strategy as he pledged to support UK’s “brilliant creators”.

The disclosure was welcomed by Deputy CEO Tom Kiehl of UK Music which has been calling for the new music strategy as one of the trade body’s key demands from the new Government.

Mr Adams outlined the Government’s plan in a debate yesterday (Tuesday) in the House of Commons. The debate secured by Mr Conor McGinn, the Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music, focused on the economic and social importance of music.

In a major boost to the touring sector, the Minister also stressed the Government’s determination to support freedom of movement for the music industry.

Mr Adams said the Government was committed to continuing to support “this fantastic UK music industry at home and abroad”.   

In a significant new development, he added: “I also recognise the need to consider introducing a comprehensive music strategy. We want our music industry to continue to be the envy of the world.”

On freedom of movement post-Brexit, Mr Adams said: “Touring is absolutely the lifeblood of the industry. We recognise the importance of the continued ease of movement of musicians, equipment, merchandise once we have left the EU.  

“Visa rules for artists performing in the EU will not change until the implementation period ends in December 2020. It’s absolutely essential that free movement for artists is protected post-2020.”

Mr Adams outlined the Government’s approach in a number of other key areas affecting the music industry:
On the Copyright Directive, Mr Adams said: “We support the overall aims of the Copyright Directive. But our imminent departure from the EU means we are not required to implement the Copyright Directive in full.

“It’s absolutely imperative we do everything possible to protect our brilliant creators, as well as the consumers and the rights of users who consume music. I look forward to working with the music industry to ensure we achieve this.”

On fiscal incentives for the music industry, Mr Adams told MPs: “The creative sector tax reliefs are kept under review to ensure their ongoing effectiveness. I have spoken to music industry representatives and I am very, very happy to receive any evidence-based proposals for a tax relief for this sector.”

On the Music Export Growth Scheme, Mr Adams said the “incredibly successful scheme” was vital in the soft power influence it allowed Britain to exert across the world.

On music in education, Mr Adams said: “This is absolutely imperative.  We are committed to ensuring all children have a broad and balanced curriculum. The arts are very important, key part of this.”

Mr Adams also praised outgoing UK Music CEO Michael Dugher for the “incredible job” he had done and paid tribute to outgoing UK Music chairman Andy Heath.

In his speech to open the debate, Mr McGinn stressed the huge social importance of music as well as the £5.2 billion economic contribution made by the industry.

Conservative MP and former music teacher David Warburton, Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music, spoke about importance of music in education.

Following the debate, Deputy CEO Tom Kiehl thanked Mr McGinn and all the MPs who took part.

Mr Kiehl said: "I would like to thank all the MPs from across the political spectrum who made such brilliant and heartfelt contributions about the importance of the UK music industry to our economy and society.

“This debate has highlighted a huge opportunity for industry to work with Parliament to ensure crucial support for music is turned into much needed action.

"I would particularly like to thank Nigel Adams who is a passionate supporter of the music industry and welcome his proposals for a new music strategy and comments on freedom of movement which is so vital for our industry.  

“We look forward to working with him on the new music strategy and a host of other areas to continue to grow our industry."

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