Manchester Withington MP Jeff Smith has today backed the Private Members Bill put forward by Labour MP John Spellar calling for greater protections for live music venues.
In particular, the Bill aims to enshrine the ‘agent of change’ principle into law. The principle protects venues by placing the person or business responsible for any change accountable for managing the impact of that change.
For example, if an apartment block is built near an established live music venue, it is the developer who would have to manage the costs to the new tenants. Similarly if a music venue upgrades its sound system, it would be their responsibility to ensure noise emissions don’t increase as a result. At the moment UK law says that whoever is making a nuisance is always responsible for managing the cost.
Commenting on the Bill, Jeff said: “From the Sex Pistols at the Lesser Free Trade Hall in 1976 to iconic nights at the Hacienda, live music has always been at the heart of Manchester’s history and culture.
Unfortunately, live music venues are under threat across the country and without legal protection, more and more will feel the financial pressure to close.
John’s Bill is a crucial step towards ensuring developers take responsibility for the environmental change that arise from new developments.
As a former DJ and events producer, I hope the Government listens to the concerns raised in the Bill, as well as those in the sector such as the Music Venues Trust, and backs the Bill.”