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Industry body UK Music wants the needs of the country's music infrastructure to be central to local government decision making.

Ed Sheeran performing on stage
Concerts by the likes of Ed Sheeran contributed to 1.1 million people travelling from abroad to attend a gig in the UK

kaddyyy/Creative Commons

Music needs to be at the heart of planning and licensing policy in order to ensure UK venues and the music community in general has a sustainable future, a new report says.

The report from industry body UK Music calls for music to be ‘enshrined’ in regeneration plans, including turning empty city centre spaces into ‘hubs for music, culture and community’.

The organisation also recommends the creation of a music advisory commission to bring together local business leaders, stakeholders and tourism boards.


The Here, There and Everywhere report found that during 2022 more than 14 million tourists were drawn to local areas due to music events, supporting £6.6bn of spending in local economies across the UK and sustaining an estimated 56,000 jobs.

The total was made up of 13.3 million domestic music tourists and 1.1 million foreign music tourists travelling from overseas.

However the report warns that at a grassroots level music infrastructure is under increasing pressure.

UK Music chief executive Jamie Njoku-Goodwin said that, “while music generates huge benefits for our local areas, the infrastructure and talent pipeline that it relies on still faces huge challenges.

“With a venue closing every week, one in six festivals not returning since the pandemic, and many studios facing huge economic pressures, it’s vital that we protect the musical infrastructure that does so much for our towns and cities.”

He added: “Music is one of our country’s great assets – not only is it absolutely critical to the economic success of our local areas, but it also generates huge amounts of soft power and helps put our towns and cities on the global map.”

‘Music cities’

UK Music’s recommendations form part of a Music Powerhouse Toolkit which splits its four key points into local government policy areas.

These are: Strategic Planning; High Streets and Towns and Wider Regeneration; Skills, education and community development; and Economic development and tourism.

Citing examples of good practice in cities such as Cardiff, Sunderland, Manchester and Sheffield, UK Music makes the case for a ‘cohesive approach’ which recognises the cultural and community impact of a thriving local music scene.

Njoku-Goodwin said: “Post-pandemic, the role of music in transformative placemaking is more important than ever – and this report provides a valuable toolkit for local authorities to help them seize the benefits of being a ‘music city’.”