At the end of last week, chancellor George Osborne announced that Britain’s orchestras are to get tax relief from April 2016 onwards.
Based on a system already in place for theatres and the film industry, UK orchestras will see a reduction in Corporation Tax and Tax Credits on the costs of rehearsal time, hiring players and using venues.
In the statement released on Friday (23 January), Osborne said, ‘As part of the government’s long term economic plan, we are backing our creative industries. The UK is home to world-famous orchestras that make a great cultural contribution across all parts of our country, and are engaged by millions of people. I want to make sure our great orchestras continue to thrive.’
In the accompanying consultaton document he continues: ‘This new tax relief will encourage orchestras to perform across the whole of the UK. As with the other creative sector reliefs, this policy aims to provide generous support to orchestras in order to promote British culture in a sustainable way.’
Director of the Association of British Orchestras, Mark Pemberton, has praised the government’s decision, stating: ‘Tax relief will make a big difference to our members’ resilience in these challenging times.’