• fighting to protect local music venues

    I’m backing plans for a new law that will help protect our local music venues.

    We are lucky to have great venues and music projects in St Helens, like Jamm Studios and the Citadel – where the Stone Roses are among the bands that have taken to the stage – and opportunities for new talent to perform at the Westfield Street and Reminisce festivals. But some venues are struggling and I want to do my best to help, which is why I am backing the Planning (Agent of Change) Bill.

    More than a third of music venues across the country have shut down in the last decade, and venues in St Helens are still at risk of closure when nearby developments pile extra costs on to them.

    This is a huge risk to the musical heritage of St Helens and the North West and as secretary of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Music, I am sponsoring the proposed law by John Spellar MP to help protect our venues.

    The Planning (Agent of Change) Bill would mean developers would have to take account of the impact of any new scheme on pre-existing businesses, like music venues, before going ahead with their plans. That could mean, for example, the developer taking responsibility to pay for soundproofing to avoid the risk of new neighbours complaining about noise from a music venue.

    This is a vital step towards making sure our music venues survive and thrive and I hope the Government gets behind the proposals to get them on to the statute book.

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