Latest figures show that music tourism contributes £169 million to the Greater Manchester economy every year.

In summer 2018, UK Music was commissioned by Greater Manchester Combined Authority to produce an independent review of the music sector across Greater Manchester, understanding the successes and challenges for both artists and music audiences.

In 2017, the live music audience of Greater Manchester accounted for 1.9 million attendees, generating £169 million in music tourism for the region, with Greater Manchester’s music tourists representing 5.4 per cent of all music tourists nationally.

The independent review was co-chaired by BPI and Brits chair, Ged Doherty, Crisis Management director, Karen Boardman, and Inspiral Carpets’ Martyn Walsh.

The report made 10 key recommendations for Greater Manchester to grow and strengthen its music sector. These recommendations have been informed by extensive consultation including three roundtables involving key music representatives from across Greater Manchester, as well as two public surveys:

1. Setting up a new music board
2. Establishing a Talent Pipeline Fund
3. Establishing a Global Music city-region
4. Protecting grassroots venues through Agent of Change
5. Incentivise businesses with discounted rates
6. Coordinate music education services
7. Opportunities for emerging artists
8. Inclusive networking
9. Reaching out to every corner of the city-region
10. Integrating transport

Andy Burnham, Mayor of Greater Manchester, said: “We need to recognise that the music industry has changed since 1989.

“It is quite a lot harder now than it was then for new talent to get noticed and to break through.

“We need to find new ways of doing the same and giving today’s Mancunian talent a stage and a spotlight in which to shine. It was this impulse which led me to ask UK Music to undertake an independent review of our music scene across Greater Manchester. It was time to take an honest look at ourselves.

“This review has helped us to understand our strengths, what works well for our artists and audiences; but also to be aware of our weaknesses and what more we can do to stay ahead of the game and make Greater Manchester an even better place to make and enjoy music.”

Michael Dugher, CEO of UK Music, commented: “Greater Manchester is known throughout the world for its rich music heritage, but this UK Music report, which reveals music generates £169 million for the local economy, is all about the future. It’s about how we build on that proud past and how we can use music as a tool to help grow the city region economy, create more jobs and attract investment and visitors here.

“Our objective is to grow the region’s diverse music scene and boost the talent pipeline by protecting grassroots venues, improving transport links to boost the night time economy, expanding the number of rehearsal spaces and increasing opportunities for young people from every background to access music and to forge a career in music.”

Greater Manchester Combined Authority will now work with UK Music, and the music industry to take forward the recommendations that will support, strengthen and grow Greater Manchester’s music scene, for both artists, and audiences, so that the city-region can continue to be the UK’s musical powerhouse.