Sir Paul McCartney and a host of famous musicians are supporting a new bill that aims to protect UK music venues from closure.

The Planning Bill, also known as the Agent of Change, was introduced yesterday in the House of Commons by senior Parliament member and Government minister under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, John Spellar.

If passed, the legislation would force property developers to take into account the impact new building proposals would have on pre-existing businesses – like music venues – before proceeding with construction. This also requires them to be responsible for soundproofing and find solution to avoid the risk of new neighbours complaining about loud music.

In a statement regarding Spellar’s bill, McCartney said: “Without the grassroots clubs, pubs and music venues my career could have been very different. If we don’t support music at this level, then the future of music in general is in danger.

Beside the former Beatles, the proposed new law is fully supported by stars like Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason, Chrissie Hynde, Craig David, Sandie Shaw, Ray Davies, Billy Bragg, and Feargal Sharkey.

Watch some music legends and politics protest at Westminster below!

In his speech to Parliament yesterday, Spellar said: “Less venues means less work and less opportunity to develop talent – or even for musicians to find out that they are not going to make it in the industry. It also means less opportunity to move up from amateur to part-time to full-time professional, and to national or even international stardom. I was talking today to Billy Bragg, who mentioned that he tried three times to move from having an ordinary job and working part-time to being a full-time musician. It was the existence of the clubs, pubs and venues that enabled him finally to make it on to the national stage.

Last night, the Music Venue Trust, the UK registered charity, created in January 2014 to protect the UK live music scene by securing the long-term future of iconic Grassroots Music Venues, stated: “Earlier today John Spellar MP’s bill was read in Parliament and no objections were raised. A huge list of sponsors of the bill accompanied the first reading, meaning that this can now progress to a second reading.” The group was also the first to launched The Agent of Change campaign three years ago.

The second reading is due to take place next week.

[Via: NME]


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