Support at Westminster is mounting for a new law to protect music venues – something the Musicians’ Union has been lobbying for individually and as part of music industry umbrella group UK Music for a long time.
Former Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP and All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music Chair David Warburton MP have now declared their endorsement.
Enshrining the ‘Agent of Change’ principle in law would make it the legal responsibility of the person or persons who have brought about changes that inadvertently affect an individual or an individual's business to take steps to remedy the problem. This would protect venues from complaints coming from residents of flats and houses that were built nearby after the venue was established.
The proposals are being brought forward by Labour MP and former Government Minister John Spellar MP who is leading the fight at Westminster.
He will table his proposed new law next month with a debate in the House of Commons early next year.
But Culture Secretary Karen Bradley MP has hinted the Government is already actively considering his idea.
In response to a question from John Speller MP, the Culture Secretary replied:
“We are aware of those concerns and we are working with the Department for Communities and Local Government to look at the proposition that has been put forward.”
“In order for our creative industries to continue to flourish, it is essential that we do all we can to protect our country’s brilliant grassroots venues. These venues are the lifeblood of the UK music scene, a source of immense pride for communities and a springboard for many artists’ success. Adopting agent of change into existing planning laws is therefore an important step in safeguarding the future of these vital platforms.”
David Warburton MP, Chairman of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Music, said:
"Putting the Agent of Change principle firmly into law is simple common sense. Any new development, whether it's a residential project near a music venue, or a music venue opening next to properties should be responsible for the costs of protecting against the noise - because they're the ones making the change to the environment.
"It's crazy that you can build right next door to a music venue and then demand they pay for the soundproofing you need. A huge number of popular venues are facing closure because the law just isn't working fairly - so it's now time to make a change and stand up for common sense."
Find out more about Agent of Change.