MP Conor McGinn has led a debate on the music industry’s contribution to the economy citing soaring business rates for small venues and the decline of music in education as issues it faces.

The MP for St Helens North, led a 90-minute debate in the House of Commons on Tuesday, January 21, on the contribution that the music industry makes to local and national life.

Mr McGinn, the Secretary of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music, focused on the £5.2 billion annual contribution that the UK music industry makes to the national economy, emphasising the social importance music can have on wellbeing and development.

He also paid tribute to the “world-leading” British music produced in Merseyside and St Helens borough - both championing the area’s diverse music scene, its musical heritage and the great variety of live venues in the area.

Commenting on why he put forward the debate, Mr McGinn said: “Our vibrant and diverse music scene is one of the great British success stories.

"The UK music industry contributed £5.2 billion to our economy in 2018 with £1.1 billion of that figure coming from the live music sector alone.

“The figures are hugely encouraging and shows why Britain is the envy of the world.

“However, the music industry faces challenges which the government must recognise.

“Ministers must live up to their promise to cut the soaring business rates for small venues in areas like St Helens, and reverse the decline of music in local education, so that all children, no matter their background, have access to music.”

Throughout the debate itself, Mr McGinn said: “There is something unique about Britain and its ability to create a globally successful music industry that is envied across the world.”

“It is clear that music in the UK punches well above its weight economically, but that is only part of the picture. Music’s value is not purely financial; its social value must not be ignored.”

Nigel Adams MP, Minister for Sport, Media and Creative Industries, responded to the points raised in the debate by Mr McGinn.