Musicians and MPs gather outside parliament in support of the Agent of Change campaign helping to save live music venues

A number of musicians, music industry workers and politicians have gathered outside parliament to show their support for the UK’s live music scene.

The gathering is in aid of UK Music’s campaign for the Agent of Change law – proposed legislation brought forward by Labour MP and former Government Minister John Spellar, which aims to make property developers take account of the impact of any new scheme on pre-existing businesses, like music venues, before going ahead with their plans.

UK Music has reported that over the past 10 years, 35% of music venues across the UK have been forced to close.

“Music venues play a vital role in supporting the industry’s ecosystem and ensuring a healthy music industry. They also play a key role in nurturing the talent of tomorrow,” said the organisation.

“A growth in demand for property in city and town centres 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, who are often situated in areas that are popular for redevelopment. It has made them vulnerable to a more liberalised planning system.”

The campaign for the Agent Of Change law has attracted support from a number of politicians across multiple parties, as well as several leading musicians, including Sir Paul McCartney, Brian Eno, Chrissie Hynde, Nick Mason, Sandie Shaw, Nadine Shah, Ray Davies, Imogen Heap, Billy Bragg, Feargal Sharkey and Craig David.

UK Music and its supporters are urging everyone to write to their MP in support of the proposals and ask them to call on the Government to adopt the Planning (Agent of Change) Bill.

Find out who your local MP is here.

You can also write to the following Government ministers and ask them to support the Planning (Agent of Change) Bill:

Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP
Secretary of State
Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
100 Parliament Street

Rt Hon Sajid Javid MP
Secretary of State
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government
2 Marsham Street

Alternatively, you can send a tweet to @sajidjavid @DominicRaab @JakeBerry @MattHancock @mhclg @margot_james_mp now and ask them to support the @spellar Bill.

Main image via @WeAreTheMU


About Laura Barnes 427 Articles
Founder/Publisher of UK musical instrument industry publication MI Focus.