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Ed Sheeran helps music industry bring £5billion boost to UK economy

Ed Sheeran's second night at Chantry Park in Ipswich, performing to a crowd of more than 40,000 people  Picture: Zakary Walters

Ed Sheeran's second night at Chantry Park in Ipswich, performing to a crowd of more than 40,000 people Picture: Zakary Walters

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Ed Sheeran is among the top artists bringing a huge boost to the nation's economy, with the UK's music industry now bringing in more than £5billion a year.

Figures from UK Music's new Music by Numbers report shows a big surge in musical exports in 2018.

The study reveals cash brought to the UK economy from the music industry reached a whopping £5.2billion last year - up from £4.5billion the year before.

Suffolk's Ed Sheeran is one of the big names driving this rise, playing to crowds of thousands all across the world.

Despite not releasing an album last year, the Framlingham singer-songwriter's business, Ed Sheeran Ltd, made pre-tax profits of more than £23million in a year.

In October, Ed topped Heat Magazine's 30 under 30, a list ranking the UK's highest-earning young stars.

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It estimated his wealth stands at around £170million following his record-breaking Divide world tour, which included his homecoming concerts at Chantry Park in Ipswich.

The UK's live music sector made a £1.1billion contribution to the economy despite the absence of Glastonbury Festival, which took a break last year.

Employment within the music industry also hit an all-time high with more than 190,000 people, including more than 139,000 working in music creation, employed within the industry.

Music tourism was another sector to grow in 2018, contributing £4.5billion to the nation's economy - up 12% on the year before.

Michael Dugher, UK Music chief executive, said the report showed the UK's music industry is "continuing to lead the world".

He said: "The figures are hugely encouraging and show that, as well as enriching the lives of millions of people, music makes an incredible contribution to the UK's economy.

"Live music is now at a record high and continues to draw millions of fans from both the UK and abroad to our arenas and smaller venues alike.
"Music exports are another amazing success story with the best of British talent being showcased across the globe.
"However, this is not a time for complacency.
"We face many challenges to ensure we keep out music industry vibrant, diverse and punching above its weight."

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