UK Music welcomes the new London Mayor Sadiq Khan MP

Response to London mayoral election 2016

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On Thursday May 5th, Londoners voted for a new Mayor. They voted for Sadiq Khan and we offer him our full support in this incredibly important new role.

UK Music knows that Sadiq is a music fan. That is one of the reasons we are delighted that Londoners have put their trust in him as our new Mayor. London has made the right choice. Sadiq’s Manifesto said: “There are few places on earth that can rival our city for its arts and culture. Our arts and culture help make London an amazing city to live in, and are a big draw to people from all over the world – both tourists and those looking to the city to work and set up businesses.”

London is the capital of music. It is the capital of music in this country and in the world. London is home to the best artists, the best venues, the most exciting gigs and the most vibrant music scene in the world. London’s music scene attracts millions of overseas tourists who add to the economic, cultural and social wellbeing of our capital. London attracts the world’s biggest artists and they love returning here, time and time again.

But the new Mayor also understands that there are real challenges to the city’s music scene. London has lost around 185 live music venues in under a decade. The unique character of areas like Soho are threatened by soaring rents. The new Mayor understands that the rising cost of living and surging property prices have led to the loss of artist studios and small business start-up space.

The music industry’s performers, creators, entrepreneurs and workforce must be able afford to live in London. The cost of housing creates enormous pressure on young musicians and composers who struggle with erratic and often unreliable income streams. If workforce conditions favour only the rich, our diverse and rich music heritage will suffer.

The new Mayor has committed to producing a visionary Cultural Infrastructure Plan for 2030. We applaud this foresight and it is the new Mayor’s long term view that is exactly what London’s music scene deserves.

Sadiq has agreed to build on our incredibly strong musical tourist industry, one that UK Music celebrates in our Wish You Were Here report to be published in June. He has agreed to set up Creative Enterprise Zones, providing dedicated small workspace with live-in space so that artists are given extra support to flourish.

He has specifically committed to protecting London’s live music venues, clubs and pubs by introducing an “Agent for Change” rule so new developments next to existing venues meet soundproofing costs.

We frankly could not have asked for more from the new London Mayor.

So congratulations London. You have voted for a Mayor for all Londoners and a Mayor for all London’s music.

UK Music Chief Executive Jo Dipple said, “I’ve written to the new Mayor to congratulate him and offer the support of UK Music and its members. UK Music needs a Mayor who understands and cares about issues affecting music in London. Sadiq’s Manifesto does just that. I look forward to working with him and his team to deliver policies good enough for London, the capital of music”.

For further information please contact:

Tom Kiehl, Director of Government and Public Affairs UK Music

Eva Lamont, Communications Officer UK Music

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