Sarwar pledges Scottish Labour’s full support to Scottish Music Industry

Donald Macleod

Anas Sarwar, the leader of the Scottish Labour Party, has given his full support to Scotland’s music industry and businesses that operate within Scotland’s Night-time Economy following warnings from the Scottish Commercial Music Task Force the Industry faces collapse and the loss of more than 13,000 jobs. He has promised that if he is elected he will make it a priority to get the sector the help it needs.

Anas Sarwar said, “Scotland must plan now for the recovery of the sector as it emerges out of lockdown and that includes indicative dates for opening of music venues and events.

“If elected I will make it my priority to work with the Scottish music industry and the night-time economy businesses to ensure that they get the support they need and a proper roadmap to recovery to avoid businesses collapsing and people losing their jobs.”

His support was welcomed by Donald MacLeod MBE, Managing Director of Hold Fast Entertainment and Mark Mackie the owner of Regular Music who have both indicated that they feel the Scottish Government has not listened to the concerns of the sector.

Donald MacLeod MBE, said, “For over a year the Scottish music industry and night-time industries has attempted to engage with the Scottish Government to support them in formulating a road map to recovery, but sadly our efforts fell on deaf ears and to this day there is no credible plan or support for businesses in both the Scottish music industry and the night-time economy.

“For over forty years I have been a loyal supporter of the SNP and this will be the first election where I won’t be voting for them and I welcome Anas Sarwar’s and Scottish Labour Party’s support for my sector which has been forgotten about and cast aside as the Scottish Government pursue their obsession with the constitution”.

Mark Mackie, of Regular Music, Scotland’s largest independent concert promoter commented,  “Like a lot of people in my sector I feel that the SNP talks a good game but hasn’t really listened to our concerns about how we move forward from the lockdown, which is quite surprising given how much the SNP talk about Scotland’s cultural heritage, but the fact of the matter is if Scotland’s music industry and night- time industries don’t get the support they need then that cultural heritage will become a cultural wasteland with future generations not experiencing the cultural richness that Scotland has to offer and I welcome Mr Sarwar’s commitment to supporting our sector”.

Anas Sarwar also suggested that Scotland participate in international research to trial large events saying, “We must also be more ambitious as a country for the sector by being part of the International research (such as the one in Barcelona) effort to trial large events and analyse the outcomes. If we are not prepared to do this we will lose thousands more jobs and livelihoods.”

Mr Sarwar has pledged to support the businesses and those who work in Scotland’s music industry and night-time economy and is calling for a robust roadmap to recovery for a sector that has been in complete lockdown for the past fourteen months.

A key feature of the roadmap recovery plan will be including night-time businesses in the current tier levels and indicative dates for the reopening of the industry”.

At the end of March the Scottish Commercial Music Industry Taskforce (SCMIT) warned the Scottish Government in a letter to First Minister Nicola Sturgeon that unless support for the Scottish music industry and night-time economy was offered there was a real danger 13,000 jobs could be lost imminently. Further the NTIA have warned that taking into account all the jobs that depend on the night-time economy this could rise to 39,000. But still the industry has not got an indicative date for opening.

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