The destiny of grassroots music venues in the UK has received a giant reassurance after the government has backed new plans to protect them from developers.
The ‘Agent of Change’ principle sees the government introducing a law that will see developers forced to take account of the impact that any new project could have on pre-existing businesses.
Former Labour MP John Spellar initiated the principle in the House of Commons and it has received the backing of Housing Secretary Sajid Javid.
“Music venues play a vital role in our communities, bringing people together and contributing to the local economy and supporting the country’s grass roots music culture” Javid told Music Week.
Javid added: “I have always thought it unfair that the burden is on long-standing music venues to solve noise issues when property developers choose to build nearby. That’s why I consulted on this in February last year as part of the Housing White Paper. I am pleased to finally have an opportunity to right this wrong and also give more peace of mind to new residents moving into local properties.”
The ‘Agent of Change’ motion was also backed by the likes of Billy Bragg, Nadine Shah and Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason, who teamed up in Westminster last week to pledge their support for music venues.
“I am delighted that the Government have listened to grassroots venues and campaigners that have supported the safeguards contained in my Planning Bill,” said Spellar.
“This announcement is fantastic news. While we need to iron out the final details when considering the draft framework, there is a real hope that these new provisions could be law by the summer.”
The bill is appropriately timed as it coincides with Independent Venue Week kicks off on January 29th, showing love to small venues up and down of the country which are the heart and soul of their local music scene.
Tuesday, 30th January – Anvil, Bournemouth
Wednesday, 31st January – Ramsgate Music Hall, Ramsgate
Thursday, 1st February – John Peel Centre for the Arts, Stowmarket
Friday, 2nd February –Fruit, Hull