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Katy Wright

Deputy Editor, Classical Music

UK Music proposes law to protect music venues

10:58, 17th October 2017

UK Music has revealed plans to protect music venues threatened with closure.

Chief executive Michael Dugher announced that UK Music would be campaigning to enshrine the ‘agent of change’ principle in law. This would force developers to consider the impact their schemes could have on nearby businesses – including music venues – and take steps to ensure their continued survival.

While the principle is currently included in planning guidance in England, it is not compulsory.

Former government minister and Labour MP John Spellar will spearhead UK Music’s campaign in Parliament to get the proposed law on to the statute book.

Spellar will outline the measures in a Ten Minute Rule Bill later this year.

An estimated 35% of grassroots music venues have closed down between 2007 and 2015, and London has lost a third of its grassroots music venues over the last ten years.

Michael Dugher said that enshrining the agent of change principle in law would be a ‘critical weapon’ in helping to defend music venues.

He continued: ‘The threat from developers, along with soaring business rates and licensing regulations, could prove a lethal cocktail for many venues unless we work together to help them survive and thrive.

‘I hope everyone will join UK Music in our battle to get agent of change on to the statue book so we can ensure the continued vibrancy and diversity of our fantastic music venues.’



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