Today, Andrew Lloyd Webber addressed the Global Investment Summit being hosted by the UK. As a member of the Society of London Theatre & UK Theatre (SOLT & UK Theatre), Lord Lloyd Webber used this opportunity to make the case for investment in the UK theatre industry which generates £2.39bn GVA, supporting 205,000 workers. This is made up of £1bn of direct turnover in the UK theatre sector, generating £1.3bn worth of turnover in the broader economy. As an example of theatres’ contribution to the global economy, the Lion King, the Musical grossed $10.2bn at the theatre – more than 10 times what the original 1994 film grossed at the box office.
A ‘greening theatres’ capital grant scheme proposal from SOLT & UK Theatre and the Theatres Trust, designed to provide grants for theatres seeking to reduce carbon emissions and cut energy bills, was featured in the brochure for the Global Investment Summit. The low-cost intervention would improve energy efficiency across the sector, supporting the Treasury’s aim to reduce energy consumption from buildings and industry by 15% by 2030.
Commenting, Claire Walker, co-CEO of SOLT & UK Theatre said:
“It is great to see our valued member Andrew Lloyd Webber make such a powerful case for investment in our industry. Theatre audiences boost local economies up and down the country when visiting a performance. For every £1 spent on a theatre ticket, an additional spend of £1.40 is generated in local economies, adding up to £1.94bn per annum of extra value added to local economies by theatre audiences.
SOLT & UK Theatre are calling on the UK Government to invest in productions by maintaining the higher rate of Theatre Tax Relief. It is highly effective at generating growth up and down the country. We estimate, for example, that at least £163 million was invested into theatrical productions in 2021-22 as a result of £38 million of tax relief, a return of over 4 to 1 for the public purse.
We are also calling on all politicians to support the Theatre for Every Child Campaign so that all children have the opportunity to see a professional theatre production at least once before they leave school.”