Sir Paul McCartney has thrown his weight behind a new initiative designed to curb the rising number of music venue closures in the UK.
The UK Music Initiative is a new Parliamentary measure aiming to implement the “Agent of Change” principle into law. If passed, it would force developers to consider the effect on pre-existing businesses in any areas where they’re constructing new buildings. The goal is to ensure that no businesses, including music venues, would suffer due to the development.
Musician Frank Turner previously launched a petition advocating for the Agent of Change principal and offered an excellent summation of its benefits. Housing shortages in the UK have led commercial properties to be repurposed for residential living. As a result, many people now find themselves living next to music venues. This has led to an increase in noise complaints against these venues. and if these complaints go unaddressed, the venues risk fines and/or closure. That’s regardless if the venue was built before residential tenants moved in.
The Agent of Change principle offers a pretty sensible solution. If a music venue is in place before the residential building, the residential building would be responsible for paying for soundproofing. Likewise, if a new music venue opens in a residential area, the venue is responsible for the cost.
The initiative clearly means a lot to McCartney, who warns that “the future of music is in danger.”
“Without the grassroots clubs, pubs and music venues my career could have been very different,” McCartney said. “If we don’t support music at this level, then the future of music in general is in danger.”
He’s not alone, either. Joining McCartney in support of his campaign in favor of the bill are Billy Bragg, Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, and Deputy Leader of the Labour Party Tom Watson.