Entertainment Music

Sunday 18 August 2019

Ed Sheeran speaks out over public funding for the arts

The chart-topper said aspiring musicians will not discover their talents without subsidies.

Ed Sheeran (Victoria Jones/PA)
Ed Sheeran (Victoria Jones/PA)

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Ed Sheeran has warned that “home-grown talent” could disappear from the music industry without public funding.

The chart-topper said many aspiring musicians, artists and actors need subsidies to discover their talents.

The 28-year-old’s comments follow complaints about the sidelining of the arts, including music education, amid funding constraints in schools.

“Without the funding for art, drama and music for young people then you just won’t have any home-grown talent at all,” Sheeran said.

“Without funded programmes and opportunities, a massive number of talented young people just won’t have the chance to discover what they’re capable of or develop their skills.

“The music industry in England is one of the most powerful things in the world and one of Britain’s best and most lucrative exports.

“It just makes no sense not to support it.”

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Phoebe Waller-Bridge worked with a number of subsidised organisations and venues before her successes with Fleabag and Killing Eve (Matt Crossick/PA)

His comment comes in a report from the Creative Industries Federation and Arts Council England.

Alan Bishop, chief executive of the Creative Industries Federation, said the commercial success of British fashion designers, music stars and film directors had been “umbilically linked to the deep talent pool of the publicly funded arts.”

The report states that, without public investment into arts and culture, the economic success of the UK’s creative industries – which it says is the UK’s fastest-growing sector – would not be possible.

It says that arts and culture contributes more than £10.8 billion to the UK economy.

And it adds that Fleabag and Killing Eve creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge worked with several subsidised organisations and venues before launching her hit shows.

In film, Idris Elba, Olivia Colman and Daniel Kaluuya are among the stars to have trained and developed their craft through subsidised programmes and courses.

PA Media

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