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UK Music calls on politicians to recognise the social value of music

By | Published on Monday 2 December 2019

UK Music

Following the publication of UK Music’s ‘Music By Numbers’ report into the economic value of the music business last month, the trade body’s CEO Michael Dugher has called on politicians to also recognise the social impact of the country’s music-makers.

Delivering a keynote speech at a conference organised by music therapy charity Nordoff Robbins, Dugher said: “It’s clear that, economically, music in the UK punches well above its weight but this is only part of the picture. The value of music goes way beyond all the pound signs and the piles of economic data. The economic value of music is inextricably interlinked with the critically important social value of music”.

Dugher pointed to research showing that exposure to music enhances children’s performance in other areas of education, including maths and English, and that music therapy results in various benefits for people diagnosed with dementia. Meanwhile the government’s own estimates, he said, show that arts participation rates in England result in NHS cost savings of £168.8 million due to reduced GP visits.

He added that, as well as trying to ensure that the UK music industry isn’t entirely torpedoed by Brexit, UK Music has been lobbying politicians to set up a new music and health strategy following the upcoming General Election on 12 Dec.

“This is a vitally important area and something that I and my colleagues at UK Music have already been talking to the government about”, he said. “It would be key in mapping out how we maximise the benefits of music for everyone”.

UK Music has been successful in engaging politicians on the economic value of music in recent years, partly via its annual numbers report that proposes the ‘gross value added’ by the music business to the wider UK economy – which this year was £5.2 billion.