A new report, London’s Grassroots Music Venues Rescue Plan, produced by the Mayor’s Music Venues Taskforce, is released today which has a number of “wins” for the Night Time Industries and involves some huge steps forward for us all. We have had a considerable influence of some of the key areas and specifically with the idea of creating a role, similar to Mirik Milan’s position in Amsterdam of Night Time Mayor. At the moment they are referring to it as a “Night Time Economy Champion” and over the next couple months we shall be in discussions with Mayor’s Office re the position and role.
“This is an enormous progressive move forward for us all that places the huge cultural, social and economic value of the Night Time at the heart of policy making and within the authorities of London.”
Discussions are following in various other UK cities too.
These are the key points being announced:
· Support the application of Agent of Change principles. An idea that has proven successful in Australia and Canada, the Agent of Change principle puts the onus on the developer to mitigate against future problems that might emerge between newcomers to an area and a longstanding local venue, for example over noise complaints. This was used to enable the Ministry of Sound to remain open. City Hall has already included advice on implementing the Agent of Change principle in the Draft Central Activities Zone Supplementary Planning Guide (SPG).
· A champion for the night time economy. Based on a model established in the Netherlands, the Mayor’s Office will investigate the potential of a night economy champion to bring together businesses, residents, local authorities, transport, police and emergency services to build positive relationships, review policies and maximise the potential of a sector that in the UK is worth £66 billion a year.
· Set up a London Music Development Board, which will take over the work that the Taskforce has started and implement the recommendations in the Rescue Plan. It will be made up of representatives from London’s music industry, venues, licensing authorities, police, planning departments and transport authorities, as well as cultural sector funders.
· The Mayor is publishing a Culture and Planning Guide, jargon-free advice for the music and culture sectors on how planning policy can protect music and cultural venues
· The Mayor’s Office will continue to work closely with local authorities, developers and the music industry to encourage a pro-culture approach, particularly in areas where there are music zones and clusters for example Camden, Denmark Street, Hackney and Soho.