Suffolk's Ed Sheeran warns young stars could miss out without public funding
PUBLISHED: 00:00 29 May 2019 | UPDATED: 11:30 29 May 2019
Suffolk superstar Ed Sheeran has warned that future home-grown talent like him could disappear from the music industry without public funding.
The 28-year-old guitar and loop-pedal maestro has said aspiring artists from musicians, to actors and directors need subsidies to help discover and develop their talents.
His comments follow complaints that funding constraints in schools have led to the sidelining of the arts, including music education.
In a report from the Creative Industries Federation and Arts Council England, Mr Sheeran said: "Without the funding for art, drama and music for young people then you just won't have any home-grown talent at all.
"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 global chart-topper from Framlingham added that the country's music industry is known worldwide for good reason: "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.
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"It just makes no sense not to support it."
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 the economic success of the UK's creative industries - which it says is the UK's fastest-growing sector - would not be possible without public investment into arts and culture.
It also says that arts and culture contributes more than £10.8billion to the UK economy.
Sheera is getting ready to perform four concerts at Chantry Park over the August Bank Holiday weekend as part of his 2019 world tour.
There has been a major scramble for tickets, with the Friday and Saturday shows proving so popular they have sold out.
The Shape of You singer's tour takes him to Asia and Europe before he arrives back in the UK to play Leeds ahead of his homecoming gig at Chantry Park.
His first Ipswich date is Friday, August 23 and the finale takes place on Bank Holiday Monday, August 26.