MPs meet at the House of Commons to discuss Agent of Change proposals to protect music venues

All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music chairman David Warburton leads talks

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29:11: 2017 The All-Party Parliamentary Group on Music met to discuss proposals from former Government Minister John Spellar MP to introduce an agent of change principle into planning law.

For more information on the Bill see here and here. John Spellar set out his proposals to the APPG which would mean developers would have to take account of the impact of any new scheme on pre-existing businesses like music venues before going with their plans.

That could mean, for example, the developer of new flats takes responsibility for soundproofing to avoid the risk of new neighbours complaining about noise from a music venue.

UK Music CEO Michael Dugher and CEO of the Music Venue Trust Mark Davyd also addressed the meeting and explained why the proposals are so important to the future sustainability of the music industry.

Whilst the overall picture for live music is healthy there are worrying signs. There was a 13% drop in the level of direct spending at smaller music venues  – those with capacity of under 1,500 – in 2016 and a 21% fall in the number of overseas visitors to smaller venues.

The last decade has seen a 35% decrease in the number of music venues according to the Music Venue Trust.

The meeting was attended by APPG on Music Chair David Warburton MP, Shadow Deputy Culture Secretary Kevin Brennan MP, Jeff Smith MP and Lord Dave Watts, as well as representatives from the offices of former Culture Minister Ed Vaizey MP, Shadow Secretary of State for DCMS Tom Watson MP and Kerry McCarthy MP.

Representatives from UK Music members the Musicians’ Union, PRS for Music and BPI also joined the meeting.

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