Our music venues are facing an existential threat from outdated and porous planning and noise restriction laws. Over 35% of UK venues have closed in the last decade, and that will continue to increase until legislative change can be achieved.
The music industry is one of the few sectors showing growth through this economic climate of uncertainty, but to continue to export great British bands and artists, future generations need to be encouraged, inspired and given platforms in which to perform and grow creatively. This is where grassroots venues are vitally important, without these social hubs and the youth development programmes they house and often pioneer, the golden days of the iconic and world-renowned British music scene are surely behind us.
All is not lost however, organisations such as UK Music and the Music Venue Trust have been campaigning hard to introduce the #AgentofChange principle into planning law. London Mayor Sadiq Khan adopted the notion into the London Plan, effectively putting the onus on developers and building owners to provide solutions to residential complaints, rather than venues themselves unfairly footing the bill, as it has been.
Today, John Spellar MP introduces a private members bill to Parliament that would grant these much-needed protections to established venues right across the UK. Backed by countless high-profile musicians and public figures, including Sir Paul McCartney, if the Ten Minute Rule bill is properly supported and passes into law, today could mark a significant turning point in the campaign to #KeepMusicLive.