UK Music calls on councils and MPs to back plans to stop music venues from closing

Tom Kiehl appears before MPs' inquiry on live music

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11/10/2018: UK Music’s Deputy CEO and Director of Public Affairs Tom Kiehl gave evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The Committee, chaired by Conservative MP Damian Collins, is conducting an in depth inquiry into the state of live music in the UK.

Tom appeared on a session focused on music venues where 35 per cent have closed across the UK over the past decade.

The UK Government has taken the welcome step of introducing the agent of change principle in its National Planning Policy Framework to protect music venues from closure in planning disputes.

During the evidence session Tom called for councils to get behind the proposals and for the UK Government to go further and give powers to local authorities to designate areas of cultural significance. This is an approach being adopted by the devolved Government in Wales and is currently being actively considered in the Scottish Parliament too. Such a move would reinforce protections for music venues in the licensing and planning system and enhance their status as cultural assets.

Tom also set out how local authorities can take a more proactive approach to supporting music in their areas by creating Music Boards to forge collaboration between industry, councils and other local leaders.

In addition to music venues, Tom also answered questions from the committee on the secondary ticketing market, the impact of Brexit on music and the economic performance of the music industry.

He also explained industry concerns about decreasing provision for music education in schools, as evidenced by UK Music’s recent report “Securing our Talent Pipeline” which revealed a 7.4 per cent drop in the number of pupils taking music GCSE last year.

To watch the session click here

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