Earlier this year, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt. Hon. George Osborne MP, announced details of a new tax relief to support Britain’s world-famous orchestras. It is expected to bring benefits to more than 175 orchestras and will encourage them to perform across the whole of the UK. Our Executive Director, David Sulkin OBE, is in full support.
Britain’s orchestras are heard across the country and around the world. In 2012-13 orchestras played to 4.5 million people in the UK in over 3,500 performances and toured in 35 countries. They also played over 10,000 community performances for 600,000 people, half of whom were children or young people. Although audiences are growing, orchestras’ income from ticket sales and hires fell by 11% in real terms from 2009-10 to 2012-13.
This tax relief, modelled on the existing theatre tax relief, will provide a generous corporation tax deduction, or a payable tax credit, on spend such as player fees, rehearsal costs and venue hire, including a higher rate for touring productions.
David Sulkin says: “It is wonderful news that the Government has acknowledged the exceptional cultural contribution that the UK's musicians, conductors and composers make to the life of the nation. This is practical tax-break help which will enable orchestras to keep musicians doing what they do best - providing world-class music to an ever growing audience.”
We are pleased that the government has made this decision which will come into force in April 2016. With public funding being slashed for the arts and with more cuts likely to come, it couldn’t come at a better time. We’re looking forward to seeing our UK orchestras and live music continue to thrive.