News Story

The City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) strongly welcomes the permanent extension of the higher 45% rate of Orchestra Tax Relief, announced in today’s Spring Budget statement.

We are delighted that Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has recognised the value of culture, following the collective case made by the Association of British Orchestras (ABO), alongside theatres, museums and libraries. Sustaining the higher rate of relief permanently at 45%, following the doubling of the rate of OTR in 2021, will help to counter the wider challenges facing arts and culture across the country.

Emma Stenning, Chief Executive says “This is brilliant news for the CBSO, and indeed for the entire cultural sector. For us, it goes a long way to helping the orchestra stay creatively ambitious, and ever more focussed on bringing exceptional music to people in Birmingham, across the country and around the world. It’s a decision that has shown great faith in the power of the arts to be an economic driver of genuine significance, as well as a vital source of human inspiration, connection and joy.”

Today’s announcement is excellent news for British orchestras. The higher rate of relief enables our sector to remain ambitious, building new audiences, creating positive social impact for local communities, supporting new productions, generating employment and developing future talent, in the face of continued economic pressures.

The CBSO also welcomes the investment committed to the West Midlands Combined Authority to support cultural and heritage projects, and Levelling Up. In the face of recent funding cuts from Birmingham City Council, this money could be crucial in determining a long-term strategy for arts and culture in the region, and we look forward to working alongside the Mayor’s office to determine an even brighter future for our home city.