27.12.17: In January, we are taking the battle to safeguard music venues to Westminster.
MPs will debate plans to enshrine “Agent of Change” in law and preserve a vital part of the ecosystem of the British music scene.
UK Music, along with the Music Venue Trust and the Musicians Union, brought the Agent of Change campaign centre stage in 2017.
The campaign came after figures showed that around 35% of venues have closed in the last decade.
A growth in demand for property in UK cities has led to increasing rents and landlords deciding to sell property and land to developers.
This has placed rising financial burdens on pre-existing operators of grassroots music venues which are often in areas that are popular for redevelopment.
Agent of Change would mean developers would have to take account of the impact of any new scheme on pre-existing businesses, like music venues, before proceeding with their plans.
For example, that could mean a developer of new flats might have to pay for soundproofing at a music venue to cut the risk of new neighbours complaining about noise.
The campaign has drawn cross-party support from more 70 MPs and peers and widespread backing from the UK music industry.
Conservative MP David Warburton, chair of the All Party Group (APPG) on Music, recently wrote to senior Ministers including Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid, calling on them to support the proposed new law.
He is backing Labour MP and former Minister John Spellar’s Ten Minute Rule Bill to get Agent of Change on to the statute book.
The Bill, announced by Spellar at Venues Day 2017, will be debated at the House of Commons on January 10 2018. If successful, the plans would put the agent of change principle on a statutory footing.
UK Music will continue to fight to save small venues in 2018, building on the work we have done with Liverpool, Bristol, Brighton, Cardiff and Scotland this year, and continue to support the great work done by Music Venue Trust. More details about their great work can be found here.
You can support the Agent of Change bill by joining the Music Venue Trust Thunderclap on January 10 at 10am. Find out more here.