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Music Venue Trust - Response to the Chancellor's Annual Statement

“Music Venue Trust warmly welcomes the continuation of the 75% relief to Business Rates for Grassroots Music Venues announced by the Chancellor, Jeremy Hunt, in the Autumn Statement. The potential cancellation of this relief presented the possibility of an additional £15 million in pre-profit taxation falling onto a Grassroots sector suffering a severe crisis; over 100 venues have already closed in the last 12 months. It was essential to keep this relief in place and we are pleased that our presentations to Treasury were listened to and acknowledged by this outcome. We hope that this further extension into 2025 for this relief will provide the necessary window of opportunity for the government to complete the full review of Business Rates on Grassroots Music Venues which it committed to in January 2019.

In his statement, the Chancellor also announced a significant uplift to minimum wage. The grassroots sector is notoriously undervalued and underpaid, from the artists performing through all levels of roles and staffing, up to and including the venue operators themselves - in 2022, the average grassroots music venue operator paid themselves £20,400 per annum, delivering 66 hours of work per week at a rate of £6.43 per hour. An uplift to fees and wages across the sector is long overdue. We look forward to working with the Chancellor, HM Treasury and DCMS to identify the necessary funding which can deliver this statutory increase to minimum wage and extend the scope and scale of it so that everyone in the Grassroots Sector can be adequately rewarded for their work.”

Mark Davyd, CEO Music Venue Trust

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