UK Music proposes law to protect music venues threatened with closure

Music venue - audience

UK Music has revealed plans for a new law which will protect music venues threatened with closure.

The industry-funded body – which represents and promotes the British music industry – unveiled the new legislation in a speech at Venues Day at London’s Ministry of Sound.

Chief executive Michael Dugher explained that the proposed crackdown would force developers to consider the impact their plans would have on local music venues, as well as require them to ensure that solutions are in place to reduce the impact on existing businesses.

The plan sets out to enshrine the ‘agent of change’ principle in law, which states that the person or business responsible for the change is also accountable for managing the impact of the change.

Agent of change would therefore require a developer to consider businesses like music venues before proceeding with a project, which Dugher said could transform the future of Britain’s music scene by safeguarding the future of hundreds of venues.

New developers could also be responsible for funding extra soundproofing for music venues to avoid noise complaints from new neighbours.

Dugher said: ‘Enshrining agent of change in law would be a critical weapon to help music venues across the UK in their fight for survival.

‘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.’

Labour MP John Spellar will lead the campaign in Parliament later this year, outlining the measures in a backbench Bill.

He said: ‘More than 30 million people attended live music events last year at venues across the UK. The live music industry makes a major contribution to both our economy, employment and our culture. It must be safeguarded.’