A campaign to protect music venues from closure has been backed by leading musicians including Sir Paul McCartney and Chrissie Hynde. Industry body UK Music wants the Agent of Change principle to become part of UK law in order to safeguard premises that stage live music events. This would mean that developers can only proceed with their plans if they consider the potential impact on existing businesses, such as live music venues.
Under the new system, developers would have to pay for soundproofing if they are built close to existing venues, in order to prevent new neighbours complaining about noise.
Conversely, the principle states a new venue would be responsible for the cost if it opened near existing homes.
John Spellar MP has introduced a bill in the House of Commons to get the Agent of Change principle into law. He stated that with fewer venues, there is “less opportunity to develop talent” and help amateur performers progress to part-time or full-time jobs, or even “national or international stardom”. Mr Spellar warned that if the current situation does not change, the UK is in danger of losing “the ladder that has served individual musicians and the music industry so well for so long”.
According to figures from UK Music, more than one in three music venues across the country have closed over the last ten years.
Chief executive Michael Dugher said the UK music industry contributes more than £4 billion to the economy and “brings pleasure to millions of people at home and overseas”.
As a result, he believes the government must get behind Mr Spellar’s bill and “help save the venues that are such a crucial part of the music industry”.
Sir Paul McCartney added that if grassroots clubs, pubs and music venues are not adequately supported, the “future of music in general is in danger”.
For further information on any of the points raised in this article please contact Robert Botkai in our Commercial Real Estate and Licensing department.